If there is one thing that continues to be a thorn in North Marion’s side, it’s when opposing football teams possess speed and quickness.

John Marshall had enough athleticism and playmakers to send North Marion to its 15th straight loss as the Monarchs nearly doubled up the Huskies, 41-21, Friday night.

Senior quarterback Shane Lantz completed 10 of 14 passes for 194 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Lantz highlighted the Monarchs’ balanced offensive attack that rolled up 397 yards, including 203 on the ground.

In five games as John Marshall improved to 3-2, Lantz has completed almost 70 percent of his passes and thrown for nearly 1,300 yards.

“We’ve been lucky. We’ve had a good quarterback here at John Marshall for 25 years,” head coach Mark Hinerman said. “But this kid has paid his dues, gone through freshman and jayvee ball. For never playing much at the varsity level, he’s played really well so far.”

North Marion (0-5) couldn’t have asked for a worse start, which came on a questionable call during the opening kickoff.

Wesley Wheeler took the kick and started up field before apparently being stopped and tackled as the whistles blew. But after that, the ball squirted free, leading to Derek Lantz’s fumble recovery and return for a touchdown just 13 seconds into the game.

“It was a disastrous start to give up something like that,” North Marion head coach Gerry White said. “But our guys fought back and scored on the next drive.”

The Huskies needed just seven plays to cap a 60-yard drive in which Jason Jones plunged in from 2 yards out. Erick Hinerman’s hard-nosed, 38-yard jaunt set up the score.

That’s when John Marshall took control with its offense, scoring on five of its next six possessions resulting in 34 unanswered points and a commanding 41-7 lead early in the second half.

Shane Lantz hit Jacob Carnahan for a 33-yard touchdown strike to make it 14-7. Then Lantz connected with speedster Mark Sampson on a 65-yard TD pass to make it 21-7.

In between those scores, North Marion missed out on an opportunity to tie it at 14-all after having a first down from JM’s 19-yard line. Three incompletions later and a mishandled snap and hold on a field goal attempt left the Huskies empty-handed.

“It was just our lack of execution that hurt us there,” White said. “We had guys wide open and didn’t get the ball to them. We had a chance to get right back in it after the disaster on the first play of the game.”

After North Marion failed to capitalize on Eric Elliott’s interception, the Monarchs responded with a 11-play drive capped by Marshall White’s 1-yard plunge for a 28-7 lead.

Just before halftime, White added a 3-yard touchdown catch to give John Marshall a 34-7 lead as White finished with 84 yards rushing on 12 carries.

“Marshall ran the ball well tonight, and we’ve been expecting a lot out of him,” Mark Hinerman said. “He hasn’t had a lot of yardage up until tonight. But if we get to the point where we can run the ball halfway decent, then we’ll be tough to stop.”

It was 41-7 after Stefan Varner’s 12-yard touchdown run before Erick Hinerman had an 18-yard catch and then an 11-yard TD run of his own to end the Huskies’ drought. Hinerman finished with 77 yards on just 9 rushes.

Backup quarterback Quint Cochran directed both second-half touchdowns, completing 3 of 5 passes for 67 yards and scrambling for a 13-yard touchdown run — the first of his career.

“Quint is coming along nicely, but he’s still behind and a little foggy because of missing all of last year,” White said of the sophomore. “But he is one of our players to look at for the future.”

Starting senior quarterback Josh Harvey threw for only 61 yards on 6 of 14 passing.

And junior Garrett Kelley, who had 2 receptions for 45 yards, saw his first action of the year after battling through viral meningitis.

E-mail Andrew Manzo at dmanzo@timeswv.com.

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