TMP routs Russell in district opener
By NICK McQUEEN
RUSSELL -- Getting off to a fast start in Class 3A, District 15 play was a point of emphasis all week for the Thomas More Prep-Marian football team.
Putting together four solid quarters was priority No. 2.
Although a quarter-plus was abbreviated by the running clock, the Monarchs accomplished everything they set out to do Friday night in a 49-0 beating of Russell.
"We've been plagued all year by playing one quarter here, two quarters there," said Monarch second-year coach John Montgomery, whose team scored the most points in his short head-coaching career. "Tonight was the night we needed to show ourselves we could perform at a high level for four quarters.
"They did it tonight."
One quarter was really all the Monarchs needed. TMP-Marian (2-5 overall, 1-0 district) scored three TDs in the first five minutes of the game.
The Monarchs drove down on their opening drive, and junior quarterback Max Megaffin hit junior tight end Cameron Fouts from 37 yards.
On Russell's first offensive play, sophomore quarterback Reshean Holloway fumbled. TMP recovered, and junior tailback Nick Schmidt needed just one play from 4 yards out to put TMP up 14-0. After a botched punt snap on Russell's next possession, Schmidt scored again after the short field.
He rumbled around the right end for a 21-yard score and a 21-0 Monarch lead. And the rout was on.
"To control our own destiny, we needed to come out and get this first (district) win," Montgomery said. "We did it, and now we get to prepare for a great Scott City team, but we get them at home -- a good position to be in."
TMP put up three more TDs by halftime. The Monarchs capitalized on another Russell fumble to score.
Senior Jared Gabel scored from 3 yards out, and Megaffin hit senior wide receiver Ryan Mayorga twice for scores. The duo connected from 20 yards out on third down, and from 35 yards out on fourth down to set the 42-0 halftime margin.
"When you go into halftime with a 42-point lead, at least it's our tendency in the past to relax and let up," Montgomery said. "The message at halftime and the message throughout the game was keep focused, keep playing at a high level."
The Monarchs scored one more time in the third quarter to go up 49-0, setting the running clock in motion the rest of the third quarter and the entire fourth period.
The 49 points was the most since TMP scored 54 in a win against Larned in 2011. The shutout was the first since the Monarchs started 4-0 in 2003. That season, the Monarchs won 20-0 against Hoisington in Week 2.
Schmidt finished with 10 carries for 132 yards, a big share of TMP's 175-yard total on the ground. Megaffin completed 5-of-12 passes, but did have a long interception in the second quarter. He threw for 80 yards and three TDs.
Russell, which hasn't scored since its 26-12 win against Republic County in Week 4, finished with 96 yards -- all on the ground. Sophomore Chase Prester finished with 13 carries for 32 yards. The Broncos play host to Hoisington (2-4, 0-1 district) on Friday.
The Monarchs play host to Scott City (6-1, 1-0), the defending Class 3A state champion, Friday at Lewis Field Stadium.
"We've shown the ability each week to come in and work hard," Montgomery said. "They know Scott City is a quality program, the defending state champs, and I have plenty of faith in the guys to come in with a tremendous amount of focus and effort this week."
TMP 49, Russell 0
Game in figures
First downs 10 6
Rushes-yards 30-175 40-96
Passing 5-12-1 0-5-0
Passing yards 90 0
Total plays-yards 42-265 45-96
Penalties 9-65 6-60
Fumbles-lost 0-0 4-3
TMP (2-5) 21 21 7 0 -- 49
Russell (1-6) 0 0 0 0 -- 0
T - Fouts 37 pass from Megaffin (You kick).
T -- Schmidt 4 run (You kick).
T -- Schmidt 21 run (You kick).
T -- Gabel 3 run (You kick).
T -- Mayorga 20 pass from Megaffin (You kick).
T -- Mayorga 35 pass from Megaffin (You kick).
T -- Schmidt 2 run (You kick).
T -- Schmidt 10-132, Flax 7-17, Megaffin 2-0, Gabel 2-10, Fouts 2-12, Dreiling 3-4, Rhoades 2-3, Vitztum 1-(-6), Walters 1-3.
R -- Prester 13-32, Holloway 8-14, Boxberger 7-22, Rourke 1-(-2).
T -- Megaffin 4-10-1, 80 yards; Vitztum, 1-2-0, 10 yards.
R -- Holloway, 0-5-0, 0 yards.
T -- Mayorga 2-53, Fouts 2-47, Urban 1-10.