Tornadoes Upend Monarchs, 53-21
MOUNDSVILLE — John Marshall entered Friday night’s game against visiting Keyser hoping to secure a WVSSAC playoff spot.
The Golden Tornadoes would have no part of such a happening as the Class AA power rushed for more than 400 yards in posting a convincing 53-21 triumph.
The Monarchs entered the game holding down 13th place in the Class AAA field. Coach Jason Willis’s club now falls to 5-4 with the postseason and next week’s game both in limbo.
John Marshall is scheduled to close out the regular-season campaign by visiting rival Wheeling Park Friday.
That game, however, may fall victim to the state’s COVID colored map, which will be released Saturday afternoon.
Keyser, meanwhile, flashed the form that may do some serious damage in the playoffs. The Golden Tornadoes, who improved to 7-2, entered the contest ranked No. 7.
“I thought we came out and played physical early on. We just were unable to sustain some of our drives,” Willis said. “Keyser has a quality program and runs a very good system. They ran some tempo on us which is what we usually like to do.
“The game got away from us late in the second quarter and at the start of the third. We made too many mistakes that really hurt us. Keyser is a quality team.”
John Marshall found itself trailing just 14-7 in the late stages of the first half. However, a 55-yard punt return to paydirt ignited a 26-point Golden Tornado explosion, breaking matters wide open.
“That punt return really was a game changer. It gave them momentum right before halftime,” Willis said. “Then they came out and scored right off the bat in the third quarter which put us in a hole.”
Keyser was quite impressive on the ground.
The Golden Tornadoes’ no-huddle attack amassed 437 rushing yards. The winners, who traveled 161 miles one way to Marshall County, added 98 through the air.
John Marshall, meanwhile, found the offensive going much more difficult. The Monarchs netted just 193 total yards. The hosts picked up 133 infantry stripes while completing 6-of-14 passes for 60 yards.
Keyser scored on its initial possession via a 5-yard run by quarterback Gavin Root. Seth Ernest added the PAT for a 7-0 Tornado edge.
John Marshall drew even in the early stages of the second quarter on the strength of a six-play, 68-yard drive. Quarterback Derrick Derrow was forced to scramble deep from his pocket before finding standout Dalton Flowers just inside the end zone for a 6-yard scoring connection at the 9:38 lighting. Connor Fitzpatrick delivered the game-tying PAT.
Keyser regained the lead it would never surrender with 2:24 to go in the second frame when Drae Allen scored from 4 yards out, capping an 87-yard, 12-play march. Ernest delivered the PAT.
The Monarchs went three-and-out on their next possession, forcing a punt. Keyser’s Zion Powell hauled the boot in at his 45 and raced virtually untouched to paydirt. The snap was bad on the conversion, but the visitors took a 20-7 lead and a surge of momentum into intermission.
Keyser steamrolled the Monarchs with three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to build a 40-7 cushion.
John Marshall finally slowed the surge courtesy of an 86-yard kickoff return by Flowers. Fitzpatrick again added the conversion.
The Monarchs added their final score with 5:14 left in the contest on the strength of a one-yard Alex Burton burst. Fitzpatrick added his third PAT of the night.
Powell led an impressive stable of Keyser runners with 108 yards on 15 carries. Allen added 98 on 18 tries. Sammy Bradfield, meanwhile, chipped in with 80 yards on 11 totes.
Root completed 8-of-14 passes for 98 yards. The winners moved the sticks 26 times.
Burton led John Marshall’s ground-gainers with 74 yards while Flowers checked in with 33. The Monarchs felt the sting of the penalty flag, being assessed 120 stripes.
“We still have a shot at the playoffs. But who knows how things will shake out with the COVID and our schedule?” Willis said. “We have competed well this year. We have lost to four good teams.
“We have played nine games this season. Back in the summer we were not sure if we were going to play any,” he added. “Hopefully, we get to play next week and find a spot in the playoffs.”
Keyser 53 John Marshall 21
Keyser 7 13 20 13 — 53
John Marshall 0 7 7 7 — 21
K – Root 5 run. Earnest kick.
JM – Flowers 6 pass from Derrow. Fitzpatrick kick.
K – Allen 4 run. Earnest kick.
K – Powell 55 punt return. Bad snap.
K – Root 5 run. Powell run.
K – Bradfield 7 pass from Root. Pass failed.
K – Allen 3 run. Kick blocked
JM – Flowers 86 kickoff return. Fitzpatrick kick.
K – Bradfield 6 pass from Root. Earnest kick.
JM – Burton 1 run. Fitzpatrick kick.
K – Mele 29 run. Kick failed.
Rushing: Keyser 66-437-5 tds (Powell 15-108, Allen 18-98-2tds, Bradfield 11-80, Root 11-57-2tds, Mele 2-29-td, Sions 1-9, Evans 2-5, Stanislawczyk 1-13). John Marshall 34-133 (Burton 13-74-td, Flowers 10-33, Derrow 7-24, Tschappat 4-24).
Passing: Keyser 9-14-98 yards-2 tds (All by Root) John Marshall 6-14-60 yards-td (All by Derrow).
Receiving: Keyser 9-98-2 tds (Bradfield 7-68-2tds, Evans 1-30); John Marshall 6-60 (Flowers 2-16-td, Sobutka 2-19, Kerekes 1-14, Rayl 1-11.)
First Downs: Keyser, 26; JM, 12.
Fumbles-Lost: Keyser 1/0; JM 3/1.
Penalties-Yards: Keyser, 7-55; JM, 12-120.