Turner Ashby’s Seth Hill (left) and Ethan Harris tackle Monticello’s Darian Bates on Friday in Bridgewater. Monticello won 49-14. (Photo by Jason Lenhart / DN-R)
BRIDGEWATER — Monticello High School tailback Kyree Koonce scored a 47-yard touchdown on his first carry of the night.
His second carry? An electrifying 66-yard touchdown run on a play where he ran close to, if not over, 100 yards.
Monticello flew out of the gates, using a fast-paced attack and a dominant ground game en route to a 49-14 win over host Turner Ashby on Friday night.
The Mustangs (3-0) racked up 425 rushing yards — most of them coming in a decisive first half — that saw Monticello take a 49-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“That was the plan,” Monticello tailback Kyree Koonce said of the fast start. “We was in a tough atmosphere. We wanted to put ’em in [a hole] early.”
After scoring a 47-yard touchdown on his first carry, Koonce scored a highlight-worthy touchdown on his second carry of the night. Monticello had a first-and-10 on its own 34. Koonce took a handoff to his left and was bottled up 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He then shook free from the grasp of a TA tackler and reversed field toward the other sideline. After that, he turned up field and won a footrace to the end zone.
“I knew I could break his tackle,” Koonce said. “I seen that I had a crease, cut it back, and took it back to my youth-league days and outran everybody.”
TA coach Charlie Newman was disappointed with his team’s tackling.
“We got their running backs three times for losses, and they turned them into touchdowns,” Newman said. “Our pursuit angles were bad. There was poor tackling on our part.”
Monticello operated its offense at warp speed, running an up-tempo, no-huddle, option-based scheme that gave TA fits.
“We have been blessed with great athletes,” MHS coach Jeff Woody said. “We got five guys that can score a touchdown anytime they touch it. The offensive line deserves the most credit for setting the line of scrimmage.”
The Knights trailed 14-0 after Koonce’s second touchdown of the night. On the ensuing possession, senior quarterback Evan Hanifee left the game with what Newman guessed was a “hip pointer” injury. Jared Bergman and Shane Brown split snaps at quarterback. Brown played the role of wildcat quarterback — not attempting a pass — while Bergman completed one of eight attempts and was intercepted twice.
The Knights struggled to generate offense against a stout Mustang defense.
Josh Collins and Troy Knott had touchdown runs of 50 and eight yards respectively for the Knights, who fell to 0-3 on the season.
“We’ve suffered some bad defeats in the past,” Newman said. “We’ll come back and get ready for Broadway. Our kids will be excited.”
MHS—Koonce 47 run (Malm kick), 7:57
MHS—Koonce 66 run (Malm kick), 6:15
MHS—Tillery 11 run (Malm kick), 0:59
TA—Collins 50 run (Overacker kick), 11:18
MHS—Tillery 3 run (Malm kick), 8:34
MHS—Malm 58 pass from St. Hill (Malm kick), 5:27
MHS—Wagner 32 run (Malm kick), 5:16
MHS—McNair 13 pass from St. Hill (Malm kick), 0:06
TA—Knott 8 run (Overacker kick), 1:57
First Downs 17 11
Rushes-Yards 46-425 44-271
Passing Yards 148 37
Total Yards 573 308
Comp-Att-Int 5-12-0 3-10-2
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-1
Punts 2-34 4-34
Penalties-Yards 11-85 7-32
RUSHING—Monticello: Koonce 8-139, Tillery 12-109, Wagner 9-89, Bates 4-19, Bank 5-9, Gibson 3-11, Bishop 2-21, St. Hill 2-23, Hummel 1-5. Turner Ashby: Brown 13-92, Collins 6-64, Knott 7-29, Price 3-5, Custer 1-(minus 2), Hill 9-52, Shifflett 2-36, Hanifee 2-(minus 5), Bergman 1-0.
PASSING—Monticello: St. Hill 5-12-148-0. Turner Ashby: E. Hanifee 2-2-36-0, Bergman 1-8-1-2.
RECEIVING—Monticello: Malm 1-58, Tillery 1-40, McNair 2-32, Bates 1-18. Turner Ashby: Brown 2-36, Warner 1-1.