After using the bye week to get things in order both physically and mentally, John Marshall will continue with its astoundingly tough end to the schedule when it plays host to University at 7:30 on Friday night at Monarch Stadium in Moundsville.
''It was good timing for the bye week,'' first-year JM coach Rick Goodrich said. ''Had a chance to heal up some nagging injuries and try to get away from that Park situation.''
That 'situation,' of course, would be a 62-14 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots two weeks ago at Wheeling Island Stadium. The good news, Goodrich said, is that the Monarchs (2-4), although facing a difficult road, probably won't face anyone with as much skill as Park, including the Hawks.
File Photo by Scott McCloskey
John Marshall coach Rick Goodrich and the Monarchs will entertain University on Friday.
''They're tough,'' Goodrich said of Coach John Kelley's team. ''Their QB (Travis Renner) runs that mid-line option, they have a running back-defensive end (Deion Cunningham) who is a handful and a middle backer that runs well.
''We've got a chance to go out, get better and represent our school and our community''
The Monarchs might not be catching the Hawks at the best of times. University (6-1) enters the contest off its first loss, 20-14 on the road against Class AA Bridgeport.
University, though, is still No. 5 in the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Class AAA ratings. That's something that is a big deal to Goodrich and the Monarchs. In fact, each of the next two opponents offer a chance at pulling off what would be considered fairly large upsets.
''We tell our kids we're glad University and Morgantown are ranked really high,'' Goodrich said. ''We want to try to spotlight our team throughout the state in positive way. Everyone is going to be looking at that score.
''If we want to be the best, we've got to play the best. You line up and beat stiffs, you get a false sense of accomplishment. And if you happen to make the playoffs you aren't there for very long.''
John Marshall is led into the contest by senior quarterback Jeremiah Fromhart, who like most of his teammates suffered through a rough outing against Wheeling Park. For the season he's completed 51 of 106 for 714 yards and four touchdowns, while also running for 145 yards and five scores. Fromhart has been intercepted seven times, with five of those coming against the Patriots.
''We lifted and ran a couple days and (Monday) we came out really hard with good focus and energy,'' Goodrich said. ''This week is another opportunity to get better and to measure our program against a good team.
''University is a steady program that is always very well-coached.''
R.J. Kibert leads the John Marshall ground game with 317 yards and a pair of scores, while Jacob Woods has gained 263 yards and scored four touchdowns. Fromhart's favorite target is Evan Magers who has 18 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns.
Linebacker Kolt Galentine spearheads the defense with a trio of sacks.