EAST LIVERPOOL - The John Marshall Monarchs defeated the East Liverpool Potters 28-6 last night at East Liverpool's Patterson Field. The Monarchs improve to 3-1 on the season while the Potters fall to 1-4.
The Monarchs struck quickly, scoring two touchdowns within a 2:09 period in the first quarter.
The first tally came on a quarterback sneak by Noah Martin at the 6:09 mark. A key play was a Martin to Austin Skrzyneki pass which covered 64 yards to the Potter 22-yard line. That was followed by runs of 10 and 13-yards by Chase Gump, the latter putting on the ball on the East Liverpool one, setting up Martin's sneak.
On the following series, East Liverpool fumbled on the first play with John Marshall's Gump recovering at the Potter 24.
The Potters fumbled eight times on the night, losing five of them.
With Gump and Trevor Hardesty sharing ball carrying duties, the Monarchs covered the 24 yards in just six plays, with Hardesty going over from seven yards out with 4:00 showing on the first quarter clock.
On the night, Hardesty paced all rushers with 121 yards on 27 carries. Gump backed him with 76 yards on 14 carries.
"We felt that if we could jump on them early, it might hurt their confidence," said John Marshall head coach Richard Goodrich. "They had had trouble sustaining drives earlier this season. I thought we were physical on both sides of the ball. I thought that was the difference in the game."
East Liverpool threatened on their next possession, making it as far as the John Marshall 11, before turning the ball over on downs.
"We played the sloppiest game of football that we played all year," said East Liverpool head coach Rick Prescott. "We had five turnovers and that put us in a hole all night long."
Trailing 14-0 at the half, East Liverpool moved the ball briskly on their first possession of the third quarter. They covered the necessary 77 yards for a touchdown in 2:04. An 18-yard reception by D.J. Austin was followed by runs of 27 and 24 yards by Zach English, with the second one putting the ball on the John Marshall one. Fullback John Miscuk bulled in on the next play for the Potters' tally. A missed extra point left the Potters trailing 14-6.
"They were trying to stop everything off tackle and outside," said Prescott. "They were giving up the inside run, so that is where we looked to catch them on that first drive."
John Marshall scored on their two next possessions, safely building a 28-6 lead.
Luke Howard pulled in a Martin aerial, rambling down the left sideline to complete a 27-yard scoring play. Following a Potter fumble, the Monarchs went on a 13-play, 50-yard drive, all on the ground. Hardesty carried the ball 10 times on the drive, going over from six yards out for the score and a 28-6 lead with 10:06 remaining.
"We thought that up front we were winning the battle of the line of scrimmage and our backs were running pretty hard," said Goodrich. "We wanted to keep the ball out of their hands and just try to wear them down."
The visitors rushed for 231 yards on 56 carries. They passed for an additional 102 yards. East Liverpool had 117 yards rushing, led by English's 73 yards on 13 carries. They picked up 36 yards passing.
"It wasn't by any means, a lack of heart," Prescott said. "We did not execute well in any facet of the game."
The Potters will be on the road Friday, traveling to Wheeling Island Stadium to play Wheeling Park. John Marshall will be at Musselman, which is located in Inwood, West Virginia.
Taylor Wise picked the blue rose during halftime ceremonies to be crowned as the Potters' 2013 Homecoming Queen.
The East Liverpool and the John Marshall bands teamed up to play the National Anthem.
The boisterous John Marshall student section, in a class act, took a large garbage can and cleaned their entire section before leaving.
Country music star Brad Paisley is a John Marshall graduate.