Monroe blasts Bishop McGuinness, 69-0
Monroe High (9-3) forced seven turnovers, and scored four unconventional touchdowns, in an easy win over Bishop McGuinness Catholic High (5-7,) 69-0, in the first round of the North Carolina 1A playoffs on Friday.
The most fascinating stat of the night was that Monroe’s offense did not see the field until early in the second quarter, yet held a 14-0 lead.
On Bishop’s opening drive, senior safety Jermany Hammonds blocked and recovered a punt in the end zone to give the Redhawks their first score of the game.
BM did not complete a pass in the first quarter and tried establishing a running game. The Villains controlled the clock by rushing 17 times for 50 yards in the first quarter.
When BM tried to pass it was not pretty. Quarterback Sean Hamacher was drilled by junior linebacker Ashad Byrd on his first pass attempt on a third-and-15 and had his second pass attempt intercepted by Hammonds and returned 78 yards for a touchdown with 37 seconds remaining in the first quarter. So without Monroe’s offense even calling a play, the Redhawks built a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
The Villains only gained 15 yards on the ground after the first quarter.
Monroe coach Johnny Sowell was pleased with his team's play, especially on defense.
“... The defense was getting opportunities and scores,” Sowell said. “[The defense] has been playing great for us all year and to come out there and do for us what they did in the first half, that was a great job.”
Monroe's offense found its rhythm in the second half.
The Redhawks rushed for 166 yards, led by Julius Stradford's game-high 98 yards on 10 carries. Stradford, a junior scored three TDs.
Senior quarterback Quayshawn Chambers connected on all four of his pass attempts for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
The Redhawks lost their leading receiver, junior Jaylan Barbour (three receptions, 75 yards and a touchdown), to an ankle injury with less than one minute remaining before halftime.
On the following play after Barbour’s injury, Sowell called for a go-route to senior LaVonte Baker, who beat his man by two steps and snagged a 25-yard touchdown with just five seconds remaining until halftime – capping off a 27-point second quarter for the offense.
“They were playing up tight (on that last play), a hard cover-2, and Jaylan [Barbour] just went out of the game,” Sowell said. “We knew [Baker] had a chance to beat that guy. He was either going to beat him or nobody was going to catch the ball.
“We called one of our plays that we would have normally called and [Baker] with his speed and [Chambers] with a good pass.”
Sowell does not believe that Barbour’s injury will prevent him from playing next week.
Monroe will host East Surry (6-6) from Pilot Mountain next week. East Surry came away with a 24-22 home win over South Stokes on Friday.
East Surry has not played a Rocky River Conference or Union County opponent this season. East did defeat Bishop McGuinness, 20-7, on Sept. 28.
Monroe 69, Bishop McGuinness 0
Bishop McGuinness^0^0^0^0^0 — 0
Monroe^14^27^21^7 — 69
M – Jermany Hammonds blocked punt recovery in end zone (kick failed)
M – Hammonds 78 interception return (Jaylan Barbour 2 pass from Quashaun Chambers)
M – Eric Heath 14 fumble recovery (Brandon Roddy kick)
M – Tre’Shun Wynn 2 run (Roddy kick)
M – Barbour 66 pass from Chambers (kick failed)
M – LaVonte Baker 25 pass from Chambers (Roddy kick)
M – Julius Stradford 7 run (Roddy kick)
M – Jaqueis Alsbrooks 17 fumble recovery (Roddy kick)
M – Stradford 7 run (Roddy kick)
M – Stradford 5 run (Roddy kick)
Rushing: BM – Joe McNamara 6-41, Riley Brannan 12-33, Christian Stoltz 3-7, Alex Zoretich 7-7, Greg Salomon 1-1, Sean Hamacher 11- -1, Thomas LaMuraglia 5- -23; MH – Stradford 10-98, Jamaris Nixon 2-34, Chambers 3-13, Wynn 4-13, Barbour 1-8.
Passing: BM – J.J. Dunn 3-6-1 10, Hamacher 0-2-1 0; MH – Chambers 4-4-0 101.
Receiving: BM – McNamara 2-6, Austin Cancro 1-4; MH – Barbour 3-75, Baker 1-25.