VANCOUVER — After a shaky start to the season, Mark Morris picked up its first win as well as its first 2A GSHL League victory on Friday night as they pieced things together for a 35-15 win over Columbia River.
“Our kids played really well as a team, it was a total team effort,” MM coach Shawn Perkins said. “A bunch of guys stepped up and did great things throughout the game. It was fun to see our kids get out of their comfort zone and play the way they could.”
The Monarchs came together as a team, but they still had to come from behind in order to take down the Rapids.
MM jumped in front early with a 5-yard touchdown run from Justus McCann to put the Monarchs up 8-0.
That lead would hold through the first quarter, but the Rapids tied it and then took a 15-8 lead by the break.
The Monarchs retook the lead in the third quarter on a 17-yard touchdown trot from Jaden Anderson. The two-point conversion would put MM up by just one at 16-8.
MM got some much-needed breathing room later in the third on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Desbiens to Deacon Dietz.
A play later, Dietz hauled in an interception to fully swing the momentum in the Monarchs’ direction.
“Deacon had a huge pick, it was a big time play,” Perkins said.
The Monarchs made the Rapids pay for the mistake. Mark Morris drove down the field and scored on a 9-yard pass from Desbiens to Jaxon Eaton to put the Monarchs up 29-15.
The Monarchs capitalized on yet another turnover on a strip sack by Kevin Larson when Anderson scored from five yards out. Winning the turnover battle was a key to the Monarchs closing out the win after they retook the lead in the third.
“We got a few turnovers in the second half and we really took advantage of that aspect of it and did a great job,” Perkins said. “I was really proud of our kids for capitalizing on those things.”
Anderson led the Monarchs with 14 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Desbiens led the charge through the air with 137 yards and two touchdowns as well.
Confidence-wise, the win gives the Monarchs a boost in the right direction after a big loss last week.
“It’s a big bump for us,” Perkins said. “They were really down after the Aberdeen game, I don’t think they were really satisfied with the way they played. They put some good work in this week and they figured out some things too along the way.”
But with a win in the books, Perkins knows the Monarchs can’t take too big of a deep breath just yet.
“I think we took a big step in the right direction, but the hay is not in the barn yet,” Perkins said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do over the next few weeks to get to where we want to be.”