The forward pass, invented in 1906, became suddenly fashionable at Massaponax High School on Friday night.
Junior quarterback Luke Morley threw for two touchdowns and, at one point, recorded completions on back-to-back plays in the Panthers’ 45–7 dismantling of Mountain View.
“We’ve been practicing it the whole season and tonight, it was clicking,” said Morley of Massaponax’s resurgent passing game.
As for the Panthers’ traditional grind-it-out rushing attack? It too remained a viable option.
Morley provided scoring runs of 2, 8 and 6 yards before connecting Derell Stokes on a swing pass from 15 yards out. Jacob Romero’s 3-yard plunge with 1:28 left in the second quarter triggered a running clock. As the half expired, Stephen Hudson added a 27-yard field goal to boot.
“They kicked our butt,” Mountain View coach Lou Sorrentino said simply. “We didn’t have a great week of practice, we were a little banged up. We’ve got our bye coming up, and we need it.”
Massaponax senior defensive end Lanxton Athy spent 24 minutes harassing Wildcats quarterback Edward Ware, then sacked homecoming king honors at halftime.
“Through this week, we prepared as if this was going to be a dogfight,” Athy said. “They were 6–1, were 6–1, we thought this was going to be a really good game.”
That fact that it wasn’t speaks to the fact that Massaponax (7–1, 4–1 Commonwealth) has finally kicked the injury bug. Fullback Josh Hale had 12 carries for 47 yards in his most extensive game action since returning from a torn ACL in his right knee.
“When we’re all healthy, it looks good,” Morley said.
Already leading by five touchdowns, Massaponax successfully faked a punt on its opening possession of the second half. Later in the drive, Morley capped his night by hooking up with Antoine Miller for a 48-yard touchdown reception on a seam route.
Coming into Friday’s game, Ludden was concerned about both Ware and the Wildcats’ dynamic playmakers at running back and receiver. But Massaponax held Mountain View under 100 yards of total offense until the game’s waning moments, when Wildcats freshman Ike Daniels found paydirt from 18 yards out to avert the shutout.
Panthers senior Quincy House had an interception, while inside linebackers Elijah Christopher and Jacob Carmichael headlined the run-stopping effort.
A road trip to fellow one-loss squad Colonial Forge awaits Massaponax next week.
“I thought tonight we were facing a great program with a great coach, and next week is the same thing,” Ludden said. “We have to really prepare, because it’s going to be a tough challenge.”
Ma—Luke Morley 2-yard run (Hudson kick).
Ma—Morley 8-yard run (Carson kick)
Ma—Morley 6-yard run (Hudson kick)
Ma—Derell Stokes 15 pass from Morley (Pugh kick).
Ma—Jacob Romero 3 run (Hudson kick).
Ma—Hudson 27 field goal
Ma—Antoine Miller 48 pass from Morley (Pugh kick)
MV—Ike Daniels 28 run (Christian Solorzano kick).
RUSHING: Mountain View-Mark Shelton 5-23; Ike Daniels 3-23, TD; Edward Ware 3-32; Team 1(-5). Massaponax- Josh Hale 12-47; Luke Morley 11-66, 3 TDs; Jacob Romero 4-44, TD; Elijah Christopher 9-52; Derell Stokes 3-12; Javaney Bruno 3-13; D’Jaun Brady 3-11; Monte McMorris 4-7; Mike Swain 1-8; Tyheem Kimble 1-(-2).
PASSING: Mountain View-Edward Ware 3-11-1, 24 yards; AZ Hernandez 1-7, 30 yards. Massaponax-Luke Morley 5-6, 132 yards and 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: Mountain View-Darius Crouch 1-4; Daniels 1-15; Bishop Jones-Fowler 1-5; Akil Thomas 1-30. Massaponax-Jacob Romero 3-69; Stokes 1-15, TD; Antoine Miller 1-48, TD.