Thomas More Prep takes on Russell in week two game

By Randy Gonzales
Special to Hays Daily News

It wasn’t by design, but good teams take advantage when an opportunity presents itself.

The Thomas More Prep-Marian football team got off to a slow start in last Friday’s season opener at Oakley, with the Plainsmen scoring an early touchdown.

TMP got a 15-yard TD pass from junior Kade Harris to junior Andrew Schwartz in the second quarter to take a 7-6 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, senior Jace Wentling kicked it short and the Monarchs recovered. TMP scored on the possession on a 1-yard run by Harris to take a 14-6 halftime lead.

“It was pretty well by accident,” TMP coach Jay Harris said. “Jace popped it up in the air, and they never went to recover it. We went down there and covered it up. If something like that happens, take advantage of it.”

The Monarchs, who returned nine starters on both sides of the ball, took over in the second half. TMP scored the first 17 points after halftime before Oakley got a late touchdown.

“Once we got rolling, we never looked back,” Coach Harris said.

TMP’s first second-half score came on a 23-yard pass from Harris to freshman Griffin Schmaacher on fourth-and-long. Harris rolled right and threw across the field to a wide-open Schumacher.

“They were bracketing Jace, two defensive backs went with Jace, just left that left side wide open,” Coach Harris said. “It was so wide open you just want to (make sure you) make the catch.”

Wentling added a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and senior Mark Rack returned an interception 35 yards for the final Monarch score in a 31-13 victory.

Harris passed for 104 yards and two TDs and ran for 58 yards and another score. Senior Bryce Seib led the Monarchs in rushing with 71 yards.

TMP will play at Russell on Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m. The Broncos defeated Ellis 17-6 in their season opener.