By Cody Tomer, The Intelligencer
MOUNDSVILLE — In the blink of an eye John Marshall was in firm control of Friday night’s game at Monarch Stadium.
Set up by scrappy defense and outstanding field position, the Monarchs’ offense scored at will in route to a dominating 47-14 victory over Preston.
John Marshall found the end zone on its first six drives of the contest and did not punt until the 6:46 mark of the second quarter.
Four of those six possessions started in Preston territory, following a pair of short punts, a pooch onside kick recovered by the Monarchs and a 60-yard kickoff return by Justin Frohnapfel.
“We got off to a good start,” John Marshall coach Jason Willis said. “We got off the ball well and did everything pretty well there in the first quarter.
“All of our special teams did really well, too. We had good field position and that made it a lot easier on our offense.”
The Monarchs defense was a force that the Knights could not conquer as they were held without a first down until 2:49 left in the first half.
Jace Boggs, Bradlee Clark, Hunter Temple and Devin Norris all turned in tackles behind the line to lead the charge.
“I just thought we played physical up front,” Willis said. “We ran to the ball and that’s the key to the game — getting to the ball.”
Following a quick 3-and-out by Preston’s offense on the game’s opening drive, it took less than a minute for quarterback Jordan Wood to find Hunter Temple for a 45-yard scoring strike to give JM the early 7-0 edge.
Two more 3-and-outs by the Knights set up JM scoring drives of 48 and 55 yards, respectively.
The first was capped by a 22-yard scamper by Temple for his second touchdown of the game.
Frohnapfel cashed in on an 18-yard touchdown on the next drive, that was set up by a 30-yard run by Wood to make it a 19-0 advantage.
John Marshall elected to pooch the kickoff and jumped on the loose ball before the Knights could even react.
After a Boggs 19-yard rush, it was Michael Mason who finished the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 26-0.
The highlight of the day for Preston came on the ensuing kickoff when Jacob Brady raced 90 yards for a score on the return.
Frohnapfel answered with a 60-yard kickoff return and Dalton Flowers found paydirt on a 1-yard touchdown with 1:07 left in the opening quarter.
Boggs put the Monarchs up 33-7 with a 2-yard touchdown run early in the second to cap a 40-yard, 3:05 drive.
Preston’s final score came with just 33 seconds left in the half as quarterback Colten Rosenberger rushed 13 yards for a score to seal the nearly 4-minute drive.
“We didn’t get off the bus ready to play football,” Preston coach Jonathan Tennant said. “We have to do a better job of coaching and preparing these kids.
“John Marshall has a good football team. They are big up front but there is no reason for going down 26-0 in the first quarter. That’s on me as a head coach.”