Monarchs Edge Mountain Ridge

Frohnapfel Pick-6 turns tide for JM in win

Photo by Scott McCloskey John Marshall running back Justin Frohnapfel uses his blockers to get around Mountain Ridge defenders Friday at Monarch Stadium.

MOUNDSVILLE — John Marshall coach Jason Willis knew his team had to come up with a momentum changer in the second half, or its game against Mountain Ridge was going to get out of hand.

And the second half looked more of the same as the Miners were putting together a long opening drive that was eating up clock. Justin Frohnapfel had other plans. On the 11th play, the junior stepped in front of a pass and took it 65 yards the other way for a touchdown.

It was just the spark the Monarchs needed as they came away with a 26-25 victory over the Miners on Friday night at Monarch Stadium.

“I thought we came out a little flat in the first half. We needed something to get that spark,” Willis said. “Frohnapfel got that pick and that really got us going, which was big. They’re a tough team. They were physical moving the ball on us. It was huge to get the pick.”

Frohnapfel’s return made the score 19-14 in favor of Mountain Ridge, and although John Marshall was still down, it had the Miners right where it wanted them.

“It definitely gave us the spark. We had energy going on the sideline. We had a big win last week and I was a little worried about us coming out flat. We tried to keep the mind frame all week, but we came out flat. We needed that spark, or it could have been a long night for us.”

After holding the Miners to a three-and-out, the Monarchs got back to business. With 4:02 left in the third quarter, it was the first time their offense was on the field in the second half. It did not show any signs of rust as John Marshall went straight down the field on a 13-play drive capped by a Jordan Wood touchdown from 3 yards out, to take its first lead, 20-19, with 11:05 left

Mountain Ridge answered right back. The Miners put together another impressive drive, this one a nine-play 75-yard march to regain the lead. Isoefa Pau’aulli put his team back on top as he took a screen pass from Alec Deremer and went 32 yards to the end zone while making six Monarchs defenders miss to make it 25-20 with 7:28 remaining.

After a three-and-out by the Monarchs, their defense stepped up big by holding Mountain Ridge to its own three-and-out. Frohnapfel returned a punt to the Monarchs 35, but a personal-foul penalty by Mountain Ridge moved the ball to midfield.

“That’s huge. Anytime you get a three-and-out like that, especially with our style of offense where we’re not going to throw the ball a lot,” Willis. “We’re going to try and run it down the field and that’s what we do. It got us good field position and that’s what we needed.”

The Monarchs took advantage as Frohnapfel took a pass for 14 yards, followed by a 32-yard run to the Miners’ 2.

Wood capped the drive off with a quarterback sneak to put JM on top, 26-25, with 2:49 remaining.

“We ended up getting some injuries and ran out of gas toward the end. Breaks didn’t go our way for sure (Friday), but that’s the game,” Mountain Ridge coach Ryan Patterson said.

Mountain Ridge had one final attempt to secure a victory, and had a good look too. On forth-and-1, Deremer threw a deep ball to a wide open Horsemen, but the ball hit the ground and the Monarchs were able to take a knee.

Frohnapfel led the rushing and receiving corps for the Monarchs as he tallied 68 and 42 yards, respectively. Wood went 9 of 12 for 97 yards and secured three rushing touchdowns.

“Every one is great to have and to start the season 2-0, we just have to continue to work on the things we need to work on. Get better each and every week and not come out flat. And we’re going to work on that starting (today). Anytime you start the season 2-0 is a great benefit.”

Pau’aulli went for 110 yards and a score on 18 attempts, while also tallying 64 receiving. His rushing touchdown on their opening drive of the game capped a 14-play 95-yarder.

Horseman scored on both of his receptions. He and Deremer connected twice in the first half (27 and 24 yards). Deremer was 7 of 11 for 130 yards with three TDs.

“That’s the thing, its a crossroad already in the season. And we got to get better,” Patterson said. “We have Hedgesville, another West Virginia, team next week. They’re just as good and we got to get ourselves up for them.”

John Marshall 26, Mountain Ridge 25

Mountain Ridge 13 6 0 6 — 25

John Marshall 0 7 7 12 — 26

M — Pau’aulli 17 run (kick failed), 2:35

M — Horseman 27 pass from Deremer (Ritchie kick), 1:06

J — Wood 4 run (Gray kick), 9:27

M — Horseman 24 pass from Deremer (kick blocked), 5:16

J — Frohnapfel 65 INT return (Gray kick), 6:17

M — Pau’aulli 32 pass from Deremer (pass failed), 7:28

W — Wood 1 run (run failed), 2:49

Rushing: Mountain Ridge 45-226-td (Pau’aulli 18-110-td, Sivic 4-29, Horseman 4-39, Deremer 6-(-5), Merbaugh 8-38, McKenzie 3-19, Team 2-(-4). John Marshall 36-147-3td (McCool 6-45, Davis 4-6, Frohnapfel 10-68, Wood 10-18-3td, Flowers 5-15, Temple 1-1).

Passing: Mountain Ridge 7-11-130-3td-x (all by Deremer). John Marshall 9-12-97 (all by Wood).

Receiving: Mountain Ridge 7-130-3td (Smith 1-11, Horseman 2-51-2td, Pau’aulli 3-64-td, Custer 1-4). John Marshall 9-97 (Frohnapfel 3-42, Edge 3-26, McCool 1-17, Temple 1-4, Bishop 1-8).

First Downs: Mountain Ridge 21, John Marshall 14.

Penalties: Mountain Ridge 10-65, John Marshall 4-20.

Fumbles: Mountain Ridge 3-0, John Marshall 0-0.