NO. 4-RANKED COMMANDERS NOW 6-0
By JOHN B. BRYAN
LEBANON -- Tailback John Markham enjoyed a career night as No. 4-ranked Friendship Christian School rolled over Monterey 34-7 Friday at Pirtle Field.
The win was the sixth in a row for the Commanders without a loss and improved the FCS record to 3-0 in Region 4, 1A play.
Markham tallied 223 yards on 15 carries and added another 63 yards in receiving on his way to three scores in the lopsided victory.
"It was a great win. It felt good to avenge that loss from last year," Markham said after the victory.
Monterey stunned the Commanders last year at the Wildcats home field, a loss FCS head coach John McNeal kept in the back of his mind.
"We wanted this one. We didn’t have to remind the kids what happened to us last year. We executed our offense and I was proud of our defensive effort tonight," McNeal said.
Friendship took the opening kick off and drove 72 yards in just five plays, relying mostly on the legs of junior quarterback Lee Maasen before Markham raced in from 25 yards out for the first score.
The Wildcats answered with an impressive drive of their own, going 79 yards on ten plays, with the bulk coming on a 67 yard bomb down to the Commander 15 yard line.
"Our cornerback went for the interception and they made a big play. Fortunately for us that was their only big play of the night," McNeal said.
Monterey gave the Commanders great field position on their next possession after a bad snap on a punt attempt set FCS up at the Wildcat 18 yard line.
Two plays later Markham streaked in from nine yards out for the score.
"The holes were there all night. My offensive line blew huge openings for me, all I had to do was run through them," Markham said.
Maasen ended the night with 46 rushing yards on nine carries and completed two-of-four pass attempts for 63 yards.
Markham was the target on both completions, the longest a 56 yard bomb for a touchdown.
Friendship finished the night with 11 first downs and 374 yards of total offense. The Commander defense limited Monterey to 170 yards of offense and 10 first downs.
Friendship goes on the road Oct. 10 to winless Red Boiling Springs, a 51-20 loser Friday night to Mt. Juliet Christian Academy