Local Sports, Preston, Sports

Preston handled by John Marshall 28-6

KINGWOOD — John Marshall was unstoppable on the ground, tallying 220 yards and three touchdowns with their run game en route to a 28-6 victory against Preston on Friday night.

“Last week, we didn’t do very well, and in practice this week we worked on running a lot more — we were just trying to drive it and keep up the pressure,” said John Marshall junior Alex Burton, who paced his team with 95 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

“Our linemen happened to make some really good blocks in the run game, and it opened up space.”

Preston was unable to find an answer in the trenches against a stout John Marshall front five that possessed a noticeable strength and size advantage over its opponents.

“Football is a pretty simple sport — if they block better than we can tackle they’re probably going to win,” Preston coach Jonathan Tennant said. “Their offensive line is probably one of the best we’ll see this year, and they just beat us up front.”

“They blew us up, and they showed us who the stronger team was tonight,” Preston sophomore quarterback Trevor Thomas added.

John Marshall (1-2) moved the ball efficiently from whistle to whistle, accumulating 16 first downs to the Knights’ eight, including going three for three on fourth down conversions.

“Toward the beginning of the year, we needed to work on a lot of stuff as a team. I think we’re starting to get back together now, and it shows in our ball movement,” Burton said.

“You can tell it’s tiring on us, and it hurts you mentally to see a team marching down the field constantly — that’s when us seniors have to step up and remind everyone we can change the game with one play,” Preston senior Colton Rosenberger added.

The Knights (1-2) struggled offensively, producing just 155 yards on the night — they were out-gained by the Monarchs to the tune of 204 yards.

“We didn’t execute our offense,” Tennant said. “What was called on the sideline wasn’t run on the field, and we had people running in all different directions. We have to do a better job of coaching that up.”

The bright point of the night for Preston came in the second half, where they were outmatched just 7-6 and out-gained by just eight yards offensively. The Knights had a pair of scoring opportunities on an efficient third quarter drive and a Rosenberger punt return, but penalties would keep them off the scoreboard until the final minutes of play.

“We never lose hope on this team. We still have to come out and play, and we’ve scored three touchdowns in a half before — we thought we had a chance, but we made some mental mistakes late and you could tell it really hurt us,” Rosenberger said.