When Eastern Tech football coach Marc Mesaros first saw his seniors put on pads as freshmen, he knew what they were capable of.
"When they came is as freshmen, I knew that it was a special group," Mesaros said. "I told them, if you do everything we ask you to do, and you work hard, you'll be a formidable force."
Last night, the group proved its coach right, playing near-perfect football in the last high school home game of their careers, a 35-0 rout of Clarksburg in the 2A state semifinals at CCBC-Essex.
"Being the last home game at Essex, we really wanted to come out and play well," senior quarterback Travis Crane said. "Forty-eight minutes of hard-fought football, and there's no other way I'd want to finish the season at Essex."
Crane has managed the No. 6 Mavericks' offense all year and continued his stellar play last night. He threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Derryck Davis for the Mavericks' first touchdown and scored the next two Eastern Tech touchdowns with his legs. He had a 2-yard quarterback sneak early in the second quarter to give the Mavericks (13-0) a 13-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, he dropped back only to see a Coyotes blitz in his face. He squeezed through defenders and raced 50 yards for another score. He finished with 73 total yards (11 passing, 62 rushing).
Senior backs Thomas Edwards and Davis played just as well. Edwards had 134 yards and a score on just five carries, including a jaw-dropping 73-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, where he ran right, stopped on a dime and reversed field, fooling every Coyotes defender in the process.
Both Davis and Edwards had interceptions, and senior linebacker Bryan Watson was flying around all over the field for a Mavericks defense that registered its third shutout in the past four games. Clarksburg quarterback Cody Martin was 11-for-22 for 100 yards and two interceptions, and the Coyotes (12-1) had just 96 combined rushing yards.
"Our defense, we like to call ourselves the shutout dynasty," said Crane, who also plays safety. "We don't like when people score on us, so it felt really good to keep another shutout today."