COOS BAY — Marshfield quarterback Dom Montiel described the Pirates’ offense against Junction City on Friday night as “sharp.”
He could have picked any number of superlatives while explaining how the first-team offense produced touchdowns on all seven drives while only facing one third down and averaging more than 15 yards a snap.
Marshfield quarterback Dominic Montiel dives into the endzone Friday scoring the Pirate's first of seven touchdowns against Junction City at M…
“We executed,” Montiel said. “That was our goal going in — to work on ourselves.”
Seemingly everything Marshfield tried worked as the starters had 15 first downs on 23 offensive plays.
“I think we got better,” Marshfield coach John Lemmons said. “I thought we executed really well.”
The Pirates tried to focus a bit on screen passes, and those worked to perfection, certainly in part because of execution by the line.
“Our line got a lot better,” Lemmons said.
Marshfield needed six plays to score on its opening possession, but only because the first play was an incomplete pass. Josiah Niblett ran for 12 and 22 yards, Montiel hit Ezra Waterman for a 14-yard gain and Niblett ran for 24 more. Montiel finished the drive himself with a 6-yard quarterback keeper.
That was a long drive by Marshfield standards on a night when the first string had 359 yards on just 23 offensive plays.
The second play of Marshfield’s second drive was one of those screen passes, with receiver Pierce Davidson racing 50 yards down the sideline for a score.
A screen pass to Niblett went for 46 yards on Marshfield’s next offensive play and set up Montiel’s second score, an 8-yard scramble when he dropped back to pass and then saw an opening in the defense.
Montiel’s next two passes were crossing routes to receivers as the Pirates covered 60 yards in those two plays — 28 yards to DJ Daugherty and 32 yards for a score to Tandy Martin. And the next time the Pirates had the ball, Niblett did take a screen pass to the end zone, from 44 yards out.
Marshfield celebrates a touchdown Friday by wide receiver Tandy Martin during a game against Junction City at Marshfield High School.
“The screen game has been an emphasis this week,” Montiel said. “The linemen went down and did their job.”
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With Marshfield’s offensive efficiency, Niblett only had seven carries, but one on the Pirates’ final possession of the first half went for 89 yards and a score and included him stiff-arming two potential tacklers on the way to the end zone.
Niblett rushed for 172 yards on his seven carries and the team gained 212 overall on the ground to go with Montiel’s 270 passing yards on 8-for-11 passing.
The Pirates enacted the running clock just four plays into the second half, including a 19-yard run by Niblett and a 42-yard screen pass to Sam Grayson to set up the score on a 1-yard run by Waterman. The touchdown almost came one play earlier, when center Hayden Murphy caught a deflected pass and almost made it into the end zone.
Montiel said Murphy has been a leader on the line after moving from tackle to center for an injured teammate.
The rest of the game, Lemmons was focusing on making sure everybody got into the game.
Freshman quarterback Landon Croff led the offense the rest of the night, completing a pair of passes. Austin Sause, another freshman seeing his first varsity action, had a team-high eight carries, gaining 26 yards. Sophomore Luis Stonesifer ended Junction City’s final drive with an interception.
Marshfield quarterback Dom Montiel fires a pass Friday during a game against Junction City at Marshfield High School. The Pirates beat the Tig…
On a strong night for the defense, Daugherty had an interception in the first half and Grayson also picked off a pass, but the turnover was nullified by a penalty.
Junction City rushed for just 54 yards on 19 carries and though quarterback Riley Sangermano completed 14 passes, they went for just 130 yards.
Marshfield improved to 2-0 in the Sky-Em League with its fourth straight win and now turns its focus to Elmira, which pounded Cottage Grove on Thursday night and could give the Pirates a challenge on the school’s grass field.
Lemmons urged the players to keep their focus on the Falcons, and not on Marist Catholic, which visits the Pirates in two weeks for what could be a game for the league title.
“Next week is a big week,” Lemmons said. “There’s a lot at stake.”
A victory over the Falcons would guarantee a playoff spot. A loss could put Marshfield into a must-win game against the Spartans in the regular-season finale.
“It’s a huge week,” Lemmons said. “We’ve got to get a win.”