Ground and pound: Mount routs Fordham
Albert Sutton went from non-factor to X-factor in the span of six days for Mount St. Michael.
The powerful running back bounced back from an admitted poor performance against Holy Cross to rush for 162 yards and two touchdowns to pace Mount St. Michael to a 44-14 win over Fordham Prep Saturday night at Coffey Field.
“I had to run harder,” said Sutton, who had 15 carries for 44 yards last week. “I was mad at myself because I was running tentative and scared [against Holy Cross]. This whole week I really wanted to work hard on running hard and running low.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound junior set the tone for Mount (1-1 CHSFL AAA), bursting up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown to cap the Mountaineers first drive of the game. He also added a 5-yard scoring run with 48 seconds remaining in the second quarter to send Mount into halftime with a 30-14 lead.
“He ran harder this week,” Mount coach Mario Valentini said of Sutton. “Last week he wasn’t running as hard, but also the offensive line didn’t block as well last week. I thought our offensive line came off the ball a lot better this week and we created some seams that he took advantage of.”
Led by Sutton, the Mountaineers rushed for 361 total yards, scoring touchdowns on five of their first six drives.
Kasim Thomas followed with a 48-yard touchdown run and then caught a 27-yard TD pass from Isaiah Martir, his lone pass of the game, which put Mount in front, 24-7.
“We went back to working a bit harder during the week and executing a little more in practice this week,” Valentini said. “We’re a young group as far as experience. That’s always going to be part of the maturation process for us.”
Martir and Jared Chester also added short touchdown runs in the second half for Mount, which bounced back from a heartbreaking 20-14 loss to Holy Cross last Sunday.
“Today we just had to keep our heads up, keep pushing,” Martir said. “Everybody was running hard, we made the right blocks. You can’t do anything with the O-line so I give credit to the O-line.”
Little went right for Fordham Prep (0-3, 0-2), which is without starting quarterback James McHale (shoulder) and Itua Uduebo, the defensive anchor who is out with a broken fibula.
Jack Trimble was 8-of-12 for 97 yards and threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to James Drago and Malik Crossdale had 25 carries for 120 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown.
But there was little else to be pleased about for Rams coach Pete Gorynski.
“I am at a loss right now,” he said. “I thought we were better than what we’ve shown. As I told these kids, we’re going back to the drawing board. I’m going to view the film and find out what 11 guys want to play.”
While Valentini liked his team's respond in a positive manner following a crushing loss, he’s not ready to anoint these Mountaineers, not in the unforgiving CHSFL.
“We still have a long way to go,” Valentini said. “Offensively we carried things today, but we can’t give up those big plays on defense like that. We’ve always been known for our defensive execution and we’ve got to get better on defense.”