George Mosier had to get his feet back under him a bit. The Mark Morris senior, who broke his scapula Week 2 against Aberdeen, had just a few days of practice to get back into the swing of things after returning earlier in the week. Luckily, he had a familiar task to help him get back to speed: beating R.A. Long.
Mosier led the Monarchs with 125 yards and three touchdowns, Mark Morris ran the ball down R.A. Long’s throat as it loves to do so well, and the Monarchs rode out 48-7 winners over their crosstown rivals.
“This was one of the best nights of my high school career,” Mosier said. “It was fun to come back. That’s what I was expecting out of myself. My teammates helped me out a great deal. It was awesome.”
It’s the fourth straight win for the Monarchs over the Jacks, fully repaying their hated rivals for a string of four defeats from 2013-17. The Mark Morris Class of 2022 saw the world shut down for a pandemic, a presidential change, and the rise of TikTok all take place in their time in high school, but they never saw their Monarchs lose a Civil War in football.
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“That’s a credit to those kids working hard over the years, standing with the program, and not giving up,” MM coach Shawn Perkins said.
It didn’t take long for the Monarchs to start the beating. After the designated hosts took the opening kickoff, Mosier found a hole on the second play from scrimmage, hitting the second level and outrunning the entire RAL defense for a 57-yard touchdown.
“I just saw the opening and I took it,” Mosier said. “Coming back after a week of real practice, it was scary, but I found it.”
Mark Morris’ next possession ended similarly: with a 10-yard Mosier touchdown. By the end of the first quarter, a faint “It’s all over” chant was already starting to break out amid the MM student section, and for the rest of the night, any needling coming from the R.A. Long faithful on the far side of the field was quickly overtaken by a droning of “Scoreboard.”
And the scoreboard only got worse. A shanked punt gave the Monarchs the ball deep in plus territory, and Mosier needed just one play to get all 10 yards, before exiting the field with three fingers held up.
“It was awesome to see George get a shot,” Perkins said. “Three touchdowns, and he ran the ball hard. That was exciting for that young man.”
But Mosier was just one big facet of a Mark Morris offense that had many. Injuries have forced to Perkins to shuffle his backfield all season long, and now that some like Mosier are returning, the Monarchs have a whole host of ballcarriers to help shoulder the load.
Kobe Parlin took the ball eight times and racked up 41 yards. Jaden Anderson had four carries for 49. Tim Sears — a converted offensive lineman — slammed up the middle seven times for 42 yards. Deacon Dietz had 25 yards on a pair of carries, and also added a 14-yard catch.
“We have so many moving parts, we have so many people moving across the field, we’ve got so many people and subs coming in and playing different positions, it keeps them on their toes,” Dietz said. “Not a lot of people know what’s gonna happen. As a defense, you’ve got to stop all our aspects, and we’ve got a lot of aspects to our game.”
Through the air, Kellen Desbiens went 7-for-12 for 91 yards. Three of those passes went to Langston Bartell, including a 30-yard lob down the sideline that the junior out-jumped a defender for a touchdown in the dying seconds of the first half.
On the other side of the field, the MM defense held R.A. Long’s offense to just 35 rushing yards all game — 31 of which came on a fake punt and a scramble in the final two plays of the night. The Lumberjacks’ only success came from airing it out, but penalties wiped out multiple big plays, and by the second half, things were getting a bit too predictable.
Parlin came down with Mark Morris’ second pick of the day on a tipped ball that cut short RAL’s first drive of the third quarter, and on its second, Dietz jumped an out route and took it all the way back to make it 41-0 and trigger the running clock.
“I knew what play they were running,” Dietz said. “I saw it right from when they snapped the ball. I saw that guy go out, and I was just reading it.”
RAL quarterback Shawn Mize finished 5-for-15 for 81 yards with the three picks, but had to be held out the entire fourth quarter after taking a hit to the head. His backup, Baily Cureton, hit Jamond Harris II over the top early in the fourth quarter for a 74-yard touchdown — R.A. Long’s only points of the night — but the Jacks couldn’t spark much else.
So for the fourth year in a row, it was the MM student section spilling onto the track at the final buzzer, to sing the fight song after a rivalry win. But for the first time for any of these Monarchs, it’s not a feel-good end to the season. Instead, Mark Morris will get back to work and have a week of practice leading up to its crossover matchup at W.F. West next weekend.
“This is just a stepping stone to the next game,” Perkins said. “Hopefully we can keep building on this next week and keep it going.”
R.A. Long finishes its season at 2-7, after going winless in the winter slate. The Lumberjacks will have to replace 19 seniors going into next season.
“I’m proud of where we are as a program,” RAL coach Jon Barker said. “I think we’re making steps in the right direction.”