CHARLESTON — For the last four weeks, Morgantown has had its back against the wall. Now, the Mohigans can finally take a breather — just not in the way they wanted to.
MHS will collect gear on Monday and call it season after falling 42-0 on Friday night to No. 3 Capital during the first-round of the WVSSAC Class AAA playoffs.
“We ran into a bus. That’s a very good Capital football team,” head coach Matt Lacy said. “We have to capitalize and make plays when we have the opportunity.”
The Mohigans struggled to move the ball from buzzer-to-buzzer, failing to find the end zone, tallying just 155 yards against a stout Cougar defense. The performance was a sharp contrast from their previous two games, where they tallied well over 700 yards and 100 points combined.
“These guys were better than the last two teams we played,” senior Luke Milne said. “They were bigger in size and they just made more plays.”
Capital’s main weapon proved to be their athleticism, and they cut, juked and spun around Mohigans defenders and down the field en route to a 396-yard performance offensively. The star of the night for the Cougars was senior quarterback and WVU commit Kerry Martin, who threw for 195 yards and four touchdowns while adding 74 yards on the ground.
“It’s hard. That’s something you can’t simulate in practice,” Lacy said “It’s a credit to them and those playmakers.”
According to Milne, the Mohigans defense had a fairly good idea of what the Cougar offense would bring to the field — unfortunately, knowing what’s coming doesn’t always translate to stopping it.
“There was nothing they did that we didn’t see coming. We had a great game plan — [defensive coordinator Matt] Kelly always puts in a great effort,” he said. “They just made more plays and that’s what it comes down to.”
The contest was marred by a barrage of penalties, as Morgantown accumulated 11 for 87 yards while Capital crossed the century mark with 122 yards on 12 flags.
“They have to clean up a little bit. Penalty wise — holy cow, they had 10 or 12 and we were up there with 10 or 12,” Lacy said. “If Capital can clean that up, they’ll be a special football team.”
While the loss certainly stings for the Mohigans and their senior class, Lacy wasted no time in looking ahead to what can be done to have his squad as sharp as possible heading into 2019.
“We’ll regroup, we’ll see where we can get better, and we’ll do that moving forward into next season,” he said.
As the realization that the season is over sunk in for the players, Milne reflected on the bond that the team has formed and the experience of playing as a member of that group.
“We have a great group of seniors and a great group of underclassmen that are really close, and the coaches always give a lot of effort,” he said. “I want to thank my coaches and teammates for a good season during my last year of football.”