Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Morgantown football team looks to cut down on penalties

MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown football team just couldn’t seem to stop winning last Friday night.

As the Mohigans invaded Paul Billiard Field in Wellsburg to battle Brooke, they ran rampant over their host. But it wasn’t just the 63-6 victory that was a win for MHS.

The red-and-blue relentlessly dominated nearly every statistical category in the book en route to their second win of the season — from first downs to offensive yardage to time of possession, it seemed as if Brooke had no answers for the MHS attack.

There was one category, though, where MHS outperformed Brooke that head coach Matt Lacy wishes they hadn’t — penalties. The whistle constantly sounded for MHS all night, as they recorded ten penalty flags — mistakes that cost them over 100 yards of field position by the end of the night.

“There’s stuff we have to clean up, and that’s on me. That’s a reflection on us as a coaching staff,” he said.

“That’s something we have to work to instill in the kids,” he said. “We need better discipline.”

It seemed that as often as the Mohigans would find the end zone, they would just as often move the chains only to see the gains neutralized. MHS would finish the game averaging over 10 yards per flag — a costly sacrifice which essentially nullified 10 first downs on the evening.

“We’d have 15 or 20 yard gains, and we’d negate with a block in the back,” Lacy said.

The biggest frustration for Lacy was perhaps the reckless and inane decisions that caused the penalties to pile up — many calls came on plays that high school football players often know better than to attempt.

“If it’s a holding on a sweep call, I can live with that,” Lacy said. “But we have to clean up some of those penalties that are happening behind the play. A block in the back 20 yards behind the play is completely unnecessary.”

For senior Luke Milne, he believes that the penalties represent a lack of control on part of his team. He emphasized that in a closer game, passing the century mark in penalty yardage can prove fatal.

“We have to stay disciplined; those types of penalties can win or lose games,” Milne said.

Milne believes that the key to shoring up the issue lies in the team showing up to practice more focused and attentive to detail; a prevailing storyline in the MHS locker room following a Week 3 defeat to Fort Hill (Md.).

“Disciplined teams win games. If we stay disciplined in practice, it’ll show on the field,” he said.