With time, the Thomas More Prep-Marian football team would love to operate its running game with the same efficiency and effectiveness that Hoisington displayed in Friday’s Class 2A District opener.

But the Monarchs are still a ways away from reaching that level, as evidenced by a 42-0 loss to the Cardinals during TMP’s homecoming at Lewis Field Stadium.

The Cardinals did all of their damage in the first half, scoring touchdowns on all six of their possessions before the second half was played under a continuous clock.

Hoisington gashed the Monarchs (1-3) on the ground, with Wyatt Pedigo running for 170 yards and two TDs on just 10 carries to pave the way. 

“Both teams came out here running the flexbone. One team ran it a little bit better than the either one,” TMP first-year coach David Bowen said. “We’ve got a lot of growth to do. We’re going to have to watch some film in the morning and see what areas and maybe what people we need to move around and what needs to happen to get this team rolling.”

The Cardinals (3-1) scored on two of its first four plays from scrimmage. Xavier Robinson put Hoisington on the board with a 36-yard TD run with 9:24 left in the quarter and Pedigo scored from 57 yards out with 6:59 remaining in the frame. Hoisington then tacked on a 15-yard TD from Braxton Donovan and led 21-0 at the end of the quarter.

The scoring in the second quarter consisted of a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Derek Boxberger, a 2-yard run by Pedigo and a 15-yard pass to Pedigo from Boxberger.

TMP managed just four first downs on the night but didn’t turn the ball over after fumbling five times in last week’s 46-6 loss to Plainville.

“With a home game, I knew the guys would be a little more settled in, so we wouldn’t have the five fumbles and all that stuff again,” Bowen said. “I thought we did play a more sound game tonight. We just got lined up and got beat.”

The highlight for the Monarchs was an interception by Bryce Hickman in the third quarter that helped keep Hoisington off the board in the second half.

Senior Kaleb Hagans led TMP offensively with 37 yards on 14 carries.

Boxberger threw for 126 yards through the air with a TD.

The Monarchs will continue district play with road games at Phillipsburg and Norton the next two weeks.

“You have to keep the big picture in mind,” Bowen said. “We do a good job as a team talking about the whole season. We fully understand that this week and next week are tough battles. Both teams are very good teams and coached very well.

“Our last three, I’d like to say that they’re winnable, but if we go out playing like this I don’t know if they are. We have a lot of growth that needs to happen.”