MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — We take you back for a moment to this summer — last July to be exact — back when Sean Biser was first installing his football philosophies during the three-week workouts to a bunch of kids at Morgantown High who barely knew who he was.
“It’s almost funny thinking about it now, but we couldn’t even run one play,” Biser said. “We couldn’t even run buck sweep. We kept fumbling it and all sorts of things.”
Fast forward however many days and months it’s been since then and we give you this Mohawk Bowl score from Friday night at Pony Lewis Field: Morgantown High 69, University High 15.
In all honesty, it may not have even been that close.
That is not to belittle a UHS team that has been decimated by injuries, including to starting quarterback Chase Edwards (came out of the game in the second quarter with an apparent hip or back injury) and running back Eliki Barber, who played mostly on heart before sitting out the second half, too.
Rather it is to tell a story on how the 17th-ranked Mohigans (3-2) got from Point A to Point B.
“What I can tell you is this team really started to buy into what coach Biser was telling us,” said MHS fullback Deondre Crudup, who rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns. “We kept working hard and we kept working together as a team.”
Buying in is not always easy. Biser is the first to tell it was not an easy process.
“We had some who fought us a little on the way,” he said. “The thing of it was, they didn’t know me and I didn’t really know them. It took some time.”
Point A for the Mohigans was those early workouts this summer, fumbling the ball around while running just one play.
Point A was a blowout loss against Musselman by 33 points after Monongalia County high school athletics had been shut down for a month by COVID-19 restrictions.
It was also a 21-point loss to Wheeling Park.
But, here’s the point: The Mohigans are well past those days now.
They rushed for 592 yards against the Hawks (2-3) and averaged 10 yards per carry while doing it.
Those stats include four kneel downs with three minutes still left in the game.
A week ago, MHS rushed for more than 650 yards in a victory against Linsly.
This is not the team that lost by 33 points against Musselman. Not any more.
“They are very much improved,” UHS head coach John Kelley said of the Mohigans. “They’re execution was nearly perfect.”
And so now the question has to be asked: What exactly is the ceiling for the Mohigans?
“Our main goal was to bring Morgantown back,” Crudup said. “We wanted to bring Morgantown High back to where it used to be and then to be able to build something positive for the players who follow us.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but I would say our ceiling is pretty high right now, as long as we continue to build and work together as a team.”
Biser gave typical coach-speak to the question, which was fair, because this story may be far from over and he doesn’t want his players feeling too good about themselves when there is still work to be done.
But, it’s likely the Mohigans could get in the state playoffs as a lower seed.
Maybe even get matched up again with either Musselman or Wheeling Park down the road.
Whoever it is, here is a suggestion for the opposing coach: Don’t even bother watching film of MHS from early October, because it won’t do you a lick of good.
This is a much different team now, a better one.
If MHS were to meet up again with Wheeling Park or Musselman in the playoffs, “I would think we would be better prepared,” Biser said. “Honestly, I don’t know what would happen. Those are two great teams. I’m just worried about us right now and how we keep working to move forward and improve.”