NEW MANCHESTER - For a quarterback making just his second start, John Marshall's Noah Martin sure didn't look the part of a rookie.
The sophomore was anything but, leading the Monarchs to a 36-0 victory against Oak Glen Friday night.
Martin completed 9 of 12 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown and also added a rushing touchdown. His nine receptions went to six different receivers.
"He has some coolness to him," coach Rick Goodrich said. "He's got some poise, and, for a sophomore, he is a pretty good leader."
All in a days work for Martin.
"We just did what we had to do," Martin said. "I'm going to do whatever (the coaches) ask me to do. We have some great backs and we have some great receivers. The line did a great job blocking. I'm just doing my part."
His play was pivotal - as what that of running backs Chase Gump, Jimmy Michelucci and Alan Miller - who filled in adequately when workhorse running back Trevor Hardesty went down with an ankle injury early.
"He could have gone if we needed him, but the way things were going, we didn't want to force the issue," Goodrich said.
With good reason.
The Monarchs struck early, and often, building a 23-0 lead at the half.
After inching out a first down on fourth-and-1 on John Marshall's first drive, Martin found Alex Whorton alone behind the Golden Bears defense for a an early 8-0 lead. Hardesty added the two-point conversion but he would soon exit.
On the Monarch's next possession, without the services of Hardesty, who was injured on the drive, backup Michelucci found the end zone from three yards out and another two-point conversion - this a pass from Martin to Howard Henry, made it 16-0. Again, the Monarchs converted a fourth down on the drive.
Miller finished off the scoring in the first half, midway through the second, with a two-yard run. On the drive the Monarchs, keeping with the first half theme, the Monarchs went for it on fourth-and-15 and converted.
Nothing went right for Oak Glen.
The Golden Bears' best opportunity to score appeared to come late in the first half, when they recovered a muffed punt at the Monarchs eight-yard line. That was whipped out by an illegal formation penalty.
"There were a lot of mental mistakes we made that we couldn't overcome," Oak Glen coach Ian Whittington said.
It was a long night at Oak Glen's resplendent new stadium.
The young team rushed for just 44 yards and didn't complete a pass (0-for-13) on the night.
"It's a huge setback," Whittington said, sitting alone in his office. "We expected to stop Hardesty and then defend the pass when we had to. Truthfully, we were coached on what to do, we just made some mistakes that we could not overcome."
John Marshall (2-1) added a couple of touchdowns in the second half - a one-yard run by Martin and a 1-yarder from Gump.
All told, the Monarchs rushed for 203 yards in the game and had 367 yards of total offense.
Gump led the way with 67 yards and Miller had 41. Hardesty had 31 before leaving.
Henry led the receivers with three receptions for 73 yards..
Goodrich was happy to see Martin spread the wealth.
"That tells me he was finding the open man and not locking in on one receiver," Goodrich said. "He is going to get better."
After starting his career 17 of 20 passing, his own act may be a hard one to follow.