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Sports

It’s Not Good To Underestimate Wood’s Monaghan

Joe Monaghan1
High School Football Frenzy
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Top 10

Week of Sept. 19, 2011

1. Archbishop Wood (Record: 2-1. Previous Week: 3. Weeks Rated: 4.)

2. Downingtown East (Record: 3-0. Previous Week: 2. Weeks Rated: 4.)

3. La Salle (Record: 2-1. Previous Week: 1. Weeks Rated: 4.)

4. Council Rock South (Record: 3-0. Previous Week: 4. Weeks Rated: 4.)

5. Neshaminy (Record: 3-0. Previous Week: 5. Weeks Rated: 4.)

6. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 3-0. Previous Week: 8. Weeks Rated: 2.)

7. Coatesville (Record: 3-0. Previous Week: 9. Weeks Rated: 3.)

8. Malvern Prep (Record: 2-1. Previous Week: 10. Weeks Rated: 3.)

9. Abington (Record: 3-0. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)

10. Downingtown West (Record: 3-0. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)

Philadelphia (CBS)—At first glance, there may not appear to be a whole lot to Archbishop Wood’s Joey Monaghan. The Vikings’ senior quarterback doesn’t bowl you over with great size, listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds. He doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, nor blazing speed.

What Monaghan does is lead—and win.

He’s 18-2 as a starter over the last two years for Wood, leading the Vikings last season to the PIAA Class AAA state semifinals, where they lost to eventual Class AAA state champion Allentown Central Catholic and its star quarterback, Brendan Nosovitch.

This year, Wood’s aim is a state title. It’s an all-in proposition with a senior-laden team that possesses six Division I players. So all the ingredients are certainly there. The Vikings have a strong offensive line, great speed at the skill positions, and they have Monaghan, who plays an air-tight game with few errors. His decision-making is unquestionable.

This season, for example, Monaghan has completed 14 of 17 passes for 393 yards. He simply doesn’t make mistakes. He has that rare innate ability to think fast on his feet.

What is lacking is the respect Monaghan may receive from opposing teams. They usually come at the Vikings with man-to-man coverage and often underestimate Wood’s passing game. It’s often a mistake to underestimate anything Monaghan does.

Again, all he does is win.

“If I’m a defensive coordinator, I could understand that, and I’d have to take away our run first,” said Monaghan, who also starts as Wood’s safety. “A quarterback’s number-one job is to win the game, and sometimes he doesn’t have to look pretty. I like being considered a blue-collar player. What I take pride in most is my toughness and my attitude. I pride myself on trying to be the toughest guy on the field. I might not be the fastest, or the biggest, and I might not have the best arm, but I believe in playing for my teammates and playing to win.”

Monaghan’s resolve will be tested Friday night at 7 p.m. when the Vikings host resurging St. Joseph’s Prep, and its explosive offense.

“It will be a huge challenge for us,” Monaghan said. “You’re facing a great passing attack. What I saw from Prep [against North Penn last Friday] is a very explosive offense. They’ll be a challenge to stop.”

Game of the Week

St. Joseph’s Prep (3-0) at Archbishop Wood (2-1), Saturday 7 p.m. at William Tennent High School

This poses another big test for St. Joseph’s Prep, as it does for powerful Archbishop Wood. This game could determine which the best team in Southeastern Pennsylvania is.

Prep is coming off 51-33 thumping of traditional powerhouse North Penn last Saturday, behind quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg’s amazing performance, rushing for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and throwing for four more scores and 218 yards—totaling 373 yards of offense on his own.

The North Penn victory proved the Hawks are once again players in the area and contenders for the Catholic League Class AAAA title, after going 4-7 overall last year and getting knocked out by Roman Catholic in the league playoffs.

As for Wood, the Vikings responded well after losing their season-opener on national TV to win two straight, including last Saturday’s 28-0 blanking of West Catholic. It was the first time West Catholic, the defending PIAA Class AA state champions, had been shutout since 2004.

Wood’s defense is very imposing. The Vikings are large and quick. Wood surrendered over 200 yards to West’s sterling tailback David Williams, and will face another daunting task in trying to corral the imposing Mornhinweg, who’s a defensive coordinator’s nightmare in that he can run, pass and change plays at the line of scrimmage.

Reported by: Joseph Santoliquito