The Dominion Post  

John Marshall runs past Mohigans, 21-10

Created on:   Sat, Oct 21, 2017   12:32 AM

Last modified:   Sat, Oct 21, 2017   12:32 AM

The Dominion Post

GLEN DALE — Derek Hess was the starter and Nick Coulter was the closer on Oct. 20.

In the end, No. 14 Morgantown’s playoff chances took a beating — literally — in a 21-10 loss against No. 7 John Marshall, at Monarchs Stadium.

“We wanted to come out and be more physical,” said Coulter, who ran for the go-ahead 8-yard TD with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter. “The credit has to go to our offensive line. Those guys kept pushing. By the fourth quarter, our line was basically calling the plays. They made the suggestion to keep running it and that’s what we did.”

The Monarchs (7-2) used their powerful and menacing rushing attack to pound away at an MHS defense that had little left in the tank in the fourth quarter.

“They took it to us,” MHS head coach Matt Lacy said. “What they did, they did well and we couldn’t stop it.”

It was John Marshall’s first victory over MHS since 2007, the last time the Monarchs made the state playoffs. The Mohigans played without starting running back Ty Konchesky, who tore his ACL in last week’s loss, against Riverside. Konchesky will miss the rest of the season.

The number of plays tells the story: John Marshall ran the ball 54 times, while the Mohigans (4-5) ran a total of 35 plays.

“They kept the ball and we couldn’t get them off the field,” Lacy said. “They had it 90 percent of the time, and we have to do a better job of getting our defense off the field. Not all of that is on our defense. We have to do a better job of stretching out drives and picking up a few first downs. We can’t go three-and-out and throw interceptions. It’s not just the defense.”

After a scoreless first quarter that saw each team commit a turnover and fail on a fourth-down attempt, JMHS found success with Hess, an all-state candidate who entered the game with 25 touchdowns.

The 185-pound Hess kept pounding away at the MHS front, each time gaining just a little more ground than the previous carry. While his first eight carries went for just 15 yards, Hess’ next seven attempts produced 35 more and got the Monarchs in place for their first score — a 14-yard pass from Jordan Wood to Coulter that cut the MHS lead to 7-6, at the half.

By the end of the third quarter, Hess had 88 yards on 23 attempts, but twisted his ankle. That brought in Coulter, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder with some speed and athleticism.

“We’ve been working the past couple of weeks on both of us running the ball,” said Coulter, who added 45 yards on 14 carries.

“Honestly, you could feel [Morgantown] getting worn down some. I was fresh going into the fourth quarter and our line was ready to go.”

Coulter’s 8-yard go-ahead run late in the third was the prime example.

He was met at the 6-yard line by an MHS linebacker, but Coulter simply bounced off and ran past the defender, before getting around the safety and running into the end zone.

“It was just a stretch play for us,” Coulter said. “I saw the [MHS linebacker] come up in the hole and I just gave it all I had to try and run through him. The other guy came in, but didn’t have a very good angle.”

“He was just running people over,” Lacy said of Coulter.

MHS took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on Alajuan Robinson’s 37-yard run, but could only muster John McConnell’s 29-yard field goal the rest of the way. The Mohigans committed two turnovers and failed on two fourth-down conversion attempts.

Morgantown was held to 104 yards on offense.