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Photo by Joe Catullo
John Marshall’s Dalton Flowers runs against Weir on Friday night in a Monarchs’ victory to open the season.

WEIRTON — John Marshall coach Jason Willis wanted his Monarchs to get off to a fast start after going 1-4 to begin the 2019 season.

His charges obliged with a whopping 48-6 win over a very young Weir High team on Friday inside of Jimmy Carey Stadium last night.

With sophomore Dalton Flowers leading the way with 292 yards on the ground and three scores, the Monarchs raced out to a commanding 35-0 halftime lead and never looked back.

“Coming in, we kind of had a late preparation with certain things, but we preached getting off to a fast start, and this was a pretty good start,” Willis said. “I was very proud of our offensive line. They did a real good job all night opening holes, and I was really pleased with the effort all around. That’s a young line we have up front. We had to replace four guys up front, but we have some seniors stepping up for us.”

For Red Rider first-year coach Frank Sisinni, it wasn’t the way he envisioned his head coaching career would begin. His young team, many of them playing their first varsity game, couldn’t control the hard-running Flowers.

“This was kind of hard to swallow tonight, but I told the kids we have to keep learning,” he said. “We’ll take our lumps a little bit, but we’ll have to learn from the mistakes we made tonight and get back on the practice field next week and get better.”

Flowers and Co. set the tone right from the start. They received the opening kickoff, which went out of bounds and put the ball in play at their own 35-yard line.

Fourteen plays later, junior Nate Menendez crashed into the end zone from 3-yards out to open the scoring barrage.

The Red Riders put together a nice drive of their own after Carson Yobaggy returned the Monarch kickoff from his own 19 to the 31. Sisinni’s club drove all the way to the John Marshall 24 where it gave the ball up on downs.

It took the Monarchs just seven plays to cover the 76 yards, with Flowers finding pay dirt on an 18-yard sweep to his right. Senior quarterback Derrick Derrow lofted a pass to a wide open Bryce Rayl for the 2-point conversion that put the Monarchs ahead 14-0 less than nine minutes into the game.

John Marshall scored on the last play of the first period when Derrow faded to pass but saw an opening and raced 31 yards to the end zone. Junior Riley McIntyre’s kick was true.

Sophomore Jamari Bass returned the Monarch kickoff from his 18 to the 40, and with a 15-yard facemask penalty tacked on the Red Riders, were set up with good field position at the John Marshall 45. But, three plays found them losing 2 yards, and Gage Reitter was forced to punt.

“Our defense got to the ball,” said Willis, whose club returns to Moundsville next week to host Preston County. “They put pressure on all night, and I was real pleased with the effort.”

Flowers shook off three Weir High tacklers, as he raced 74 yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter. The McIntyre kick made it 28-0.

Later, Weir High senior quarterback Anthony DiMatteis was intercepted by Reid Wiley at the John Marshall 40, and the speedy senior defensive back raced all the way to the Red Rider 35 before being hauled down.

That set up John Marshall’s fifth touchdown, an 8-yard pass from Derrow to Rayl in the left front corner of the end zone just 18 seconds before halftime.

The Monarch defense forced a Weir High punt on the first possession of the second half and on the first play Flowers scampered 77 yards to open a 41-0 Monarch lead.

“Flowers is an aggressive runner that we didn’t see when we scouted their scrimmage,” Sisinni said. “Our poor tackling tonight became an issue, along with some opportunistic things that went their way were countered by us not capitalizing on some opportunities. It kind of steamrolled and our confidence level dropped a little bit. But we can work on those things and get better.”

Undaunted, the Red Riders’ Carson Yobaggy got loose with the kickoff racing from his own 19 to the John Marshall 32. A DiMatteis to sophomore Kanye Green pass netted 21 yards to the Monarch 13. On the next play, freshman Corey Lyons, on his first ever carry as a varsity player, dashed through the middle of the John Marshall defense for the only Red Rider score of the game. Lyons, whose father starred at running back with the 2005 Weir High state championship team, went on to amass 46 total yards with nine carries.

The Monarchs’ sophomore quarterback, Jacob Coffield, capped the scoring with a 1-yard keeper with 2:35 left in the game.

“We had a bunch of little things go wrong that is typical of a young team,” Sisinni said. “We’ll get after it during the week and prepare for the next one. We want to keep moving on and keep those mistakes from happening.

The Red Riders travel to the West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle next week to play Frankfort.

John Marshall 48, Weir 6

John Marshall 14 21 13 0 – 48

Weir 0 0 6 0 – 6

JM – Menendez 3 run (kick failed)

JM – Flowers 18 run (Rayl from Derrow)

JM – Derrow 31 run (McIntyre kick)

JM – Flowers 74 run (McIntyre kick)

JM – Rayl from Derrow 8 pass (McIntyre kick)

JM – Flowers 77 run (kick failed)

W – Lyons 13 run (bad snap)

JM – Coffield 1 run (McIntyre kick)

RUSHING: JM: 41-408-6. Burton 15-56; Coffield 1-3-1; Flowers 15-292-3; Menendez 1-5-1; Derrow 2-35-1. Weir: 35-115-1. Bass 12-41; Ju. Brueck 6-30; Lyons 9-46-1; DiMatteis 8-(-2).

PASSING: JM: 6-12-60. Derrow 4-8-29; Coffield 2-4-31. Weir: 7-13-45-1INT (all by DiMatteis).

RECEIVING: JM: Rayl 3-29; Burton 1-0; Sobutka 1-12; Wiley 1-19. Weir: Reitter 2-11; Green 4-39; Bass 1-(-5).

FIRST DOWNS: JM: 13. Weir: 6.

FUMBLES-LOST: JM: 0-0; Weir 1-1.

PENALTIES: JM: 14-105; Weir 4-45.

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