Monarchs Muscle Way Past Hawks
John Marshall opens new stadium in style with 35-28 win
MOUNDSVILLE — John Marshall knew coming in that it couldn’t allow University’s skill players to get into space. With WVU commit Amir Richardson taking his first catch 44 yards for a touchdown and the Hawks knocking on the door again early in the first quarter, it looked as if the Monarchs had bitten off more than they could chew.
However, Jace Boggs smacked a University runner behind the line of scrimmage and in the process forced a fumble that JM’s Bradlee Clark pounced on to stop the bleeding. It proved the slightest of openings for the Monarchs, but in the end it was all they needed.
Justin Frohnapfel rushed for 104 yards, Chas McCool scored four touchdowns to go with 143 total yards — 91 running — and John Davis added another 80 on the ground as John Marshall (1-0) opened the new Monarch Stadium on Friday night by playing keep-away in a 35-28 victory against preseason No. 5 University (0-1).
The Monarchs ran 72 plays — 68 on the ground — and converted 11 of 16 third-down conversions while making just enough plays on the defensive side of the ball to pull this one out. Richardson was limited to two catches, although they both went for scores.
”That’s how we do it. We’ve got to line up and be physical,” Willis said. ”We’ve got some guys that can make plays, but not a ton of great athletes.
”Our goal is to ground-and-pound it and get 4 yards a play. That’s what we’ve got to do and we did it.”
Even though his Hawks were on the wrong end of it, Coach John Kelley couldn’t help but admire the performance John Marshall put forth along the offensive and defensive lines. He was adamant that was the difference.
”First of all I knew they were more experienced and a better team than us. We were highly overrated,” Kelley said. ”The bottom line, is they are bigger, stronger and tougher than us.
”Once they got in the lead everything was in their favor to milk the clock.”
The Hawks held a 7-0 lead at the end of one, but JM was on the march as the second began. A 12-play, 88-yard drive — all runs — culminated when McCool broke a tackle at the 10-yard line and went in from 25 yards away.
After the teams traded punts, University needed two plays to go back ahead, 14-7. Quarterback Logan Holgorsen connected with Evan Parow twice covering 46 yards, the last 8 on a jump ball in the right-corner of the end zone.
The Monarchs unveiled a new wrinkle to their offense, adding Frohnapfel, a junior, to an already loaded running backs stable. It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly.
”He wanted the opportunity to play quarterback and we gave him the chance (in camp). Not that he isn’t as capable as Jordan (Wood), but Jordan is the incumbent,” Willis said. ”He’s an athlete and in our offense, where are you going to get the ball?
”We’ve got a nice rotation of backs and that helps us to be able to keep guys fresh.”
Frohnapfel picked up gains of 7, 9 and 9 yards on the ensuing 12-play, 71-yard drive that knotted the score. McCool cashed in from the 1 late in the half to make it 14-14.
The Monarchs took the second-half kickoff 68 yards in eight plays. Frohnapfel hauled in a 45-yard pass from Wood, who finished 3 of 4 for 102 yards, then hauled in a one-handed circus catch at the 1 on a fourth-and-13. On the next play Wood went in for JM’s first lead.
University got things even one last time as Holgorsen, who completed 21 of 34 for 271 yards and four TDs, found Parow on the sideline. Parow, who led all receivers with 11 catches and 142 yards, spun away from a tackle and went in from 23.
”They didn’t have any clue how to stop us either, but they didn’t have to,” Kelley said. ”All they had to do was control the ball.
”That turned the tide.”
The Monarchs went ahead to stay on the ensuing possession. They ran the ball on seven straight plays, but on third-and-6 Wood slipped a pass to McCool in the flat and he went 52 yards to make it 28-21.
After the Hawks turned it over on downs, JM put things away with a 13-play, 62-yard drive that featured a pair of fourth-down conversions. McCool did the honors again, going in from the 21 for a 35-21 advantage.
”You saw that they had made a few adjustments and we had to do the same,” Willis said. ”They started to stuff the run a bit and Jacob just flips that little one out to Chas and he makes a big play.”
Richardson got University back within a score with a 9-yard, toe-tapping catch in the end zone, but JM exerted its will on the next drive.
With all 11 Hawks defenders within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage, the Monarchs offensive line powered them 55 yards on 11 plays — all on the ground — to get to the University 5, where the drive stalled. Ethan Gray, who booted five PATs, had a 27-yard field-goal attempt blocked, but the march ate up nearly five minutes.
The Hawks took over at the 20 with no timeouts and after Holgorsen picked up 2 on first down, he had three straight passes hit the ground including the final one, which was broken up by Frohnapfel.
”It’s a good, positive way to start the year but we can’t just be happy we beat University,” Willis said. ”We have to come back (today) and watch film and get ready for Mountain Ridge.
”We’ve got the new turf and the stands were packed. What the county did to get everything ready for us to play here was great. I can’t be more excited.”
John Marshall 35, University 28
University 7 7 7 7 — 28
John Marshall 0 14 14 7 — 35
U — A.Richardson 44 pass from Holgorsen (Phares kick), 8:17
J — McCool 25 run (Gray kick), 10:20
J — Parow 8 pass from Holgorsen (Phares kick), 5:12
J — McCool 1 run (Gray kick), 25.8
J — Wood 1 run (Gray kick), 8:42
U — Parow 23 pass from Holgorsen (Phares kick), 7:05
J — McCool 52 pass from Wood (Gray kick), 3:54
J — McCool 21 run (Gray kick), 7:34
U — A.Richardson 9 pass from Holgorsen (Phares kick), 6:31
Rushing: University 19-72 (Raber 13-61, A.Richardson 1-6, Holgorsen 5-5). John Marshall 68-313-4td (Frohnapfel 19-104, McCool 13-91-3td, Davis 24-80, Temple 4-29, Team 2-(-2).
Passing: University 21-34-271-4td (all by Holgorsen). John Marshall 3-4-102-td-x (all by Wood).
Receiving: University 21-271-4td (Parow 11-142-2td, Cottrell 4-56, A.Richardson 2-53-2td, Raber 2-1, D.Richardson 1-14, Gribble 1-7). John Marshall 3-102-td (Frohnapfel 2-67, McCool 1-52, Davis 1-3).
First Downs: University 16, John Marshall 25.
Penalties: University 3-25, John Marshall 3-15.
Fumbles: University 1-1, John Marshall 2-0.