LOUISVILLE — Trickery.
It worked against the Monarch defense Friday night. Well, for a series anyway.
After the No. 3 Coyotes figured out John F. Kennedy’s unconventional offense, that was essentially it. As for the Commanders, they never had an answer for Monarch’s attack.
The Coyotes clobbered visiting Kennedy 55-7 in a Class 4A nonleague game at Warrior Stadium, roaring back after allowing the Commanders to march to an impressive scoring drive to open the contest.
“They came out ready to play and they caught us off guard a little bit,” Coyotes defensive back Geoff Clary said. “We just had to bounce back and do our thing. Our coaching staff saw it upstairs, and right after we came off the field, they knew what to do.”
Kennedy opened in a shotgun formation with zero running backs and four receivers stacked to one side. Quarterback Jorge Martinez was white hot on the opening drive, utilizing a bevy of quick-hit passes to complete 7 of 8 attempts for 80 yards before punching it into the end zone on a 1-yard sneak.
Then the Monarch defense beefed up.
The unit forced four consecutive three-and-outs and forced a safety after an errant snap on a Kennedy punt attempt. The Commanders (1-3) remained true to the four-receiver set and even tried a few plays from the swinging gate formation, in which the center and quarterback are isolated several yards away from the rest of the offense.
Monarch wasn’t fooled by any of it. Martinez finished the half 7 for 18 for 30 yards after the opening drive.
“We were just a little bit confused in our schemes and Coach P just helped us figure it out,” said Monarch defensive lineman Jon Sanders, referring to defensive coordinator Aaron Paddock. “We adjusted and we stopped them.”
On the other side of the ball, the Coyotes were their typical selves. Ethan Marks ran for 117 yards and three first-half touchdowns, including a 56-yarder. Philip Bubernak and fullback Dylan Glazer also had their moments as Monarch rolled up 330 yards on the ground — 243 in the first half.
Kyle Billingsly returned the ensuing free kick after the safety for a 70-yard TD as part of Monarch’s 24-point first quarter. The Coyotes even got a pass TD into the mix when Cole Watson found Logan Soole for a 27-yarder to cap a 45-7 first half.
Soole played for the first time since rejoining the team after initially stepping aside to focus on baseball.
“I guess you could say it was a punch wakeup when they took it down and scored, but we weren’t ready,” Monarch two-way lineman Josh Hurst said. “I mean, we were mentally ready, we were just a little hesitant until we understood what they were doing.”
Even Coyotes longtime coach Phil Bravo was initially thrown for a loop by Kennedy’s scheme.
“I mean, they ran quads, they ran unbalanced quads, they ran the swinging gate and three versions of the swinging gate,” Bravo said. “It just took a second to figure it out. It was hard to prepare for, because we’ve never prepared for an unbalanced quad look.”
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MONARCH 55, KENNEDY 7
At Centaurus H.S.
Kennedy (1-3) 7 0 0 0 — 7
Monarch (3-1) 24 21 3 7 — 55
Kennedy: Jorge Martinez 1 run (Kenny Crowthers kick).
Monarch: Ethan Marks 4 run (Marks run)
Monarch: Safety. Kennedy punter Victor Garcia tackled in end zone.
Monarch: Kyle Billingsly 70 kickoff return (Jamie Falloon kick).
Monarch: Philip Bubernak 24 run (Falloon kick).
Monarch: Marks 56 run (Falloon kick).
Monarch: Marks 15 run (Falloon kick).
Monarch: Kidd Soole 27 pass from Cole Watson (Patrick Nasiatka kick).
Monarch: Falloon 42 FG.
Monarch: Harrison Leachman 1 run (Nasiatka kick).
First downs 10 15
Rushes-yards 18-3 38-330
Passing yards 165 27
Comp-Att-Int 19-34-1 1-2-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 6-60 5-45
RUSHING — Kennedy: Schipper 3-18, K. Crowthers 2-0, Pham 2-0, Bobian 1-2, Martinez 10-(-15); Monarch: Marks 10-117, Bubernak 8-71, Leachman 7-46, Glazer 4-39, Soole 2-23, Pape 2-21, Oliver 2-7, Watson 2-4, Lehman 1-(-2).
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Kennedy: Martinez 19-32-0, 165 yards; K. Crowthers 0-1-0, 0 yards, Horta 0-1-1, 0 yards; Monarch: Watson 1-2-0, 27 yards.
RECEIVING — Kennedy: Hernandez 11-78, K. Crowthers 3-42, Schipper 3-15, E. Crowthers 1-21, Velarde 1-9. Monarch: Soole 1-27.