MORGANTOWN — It labored to perfection.
And it was the proper technique to safe momentum, and an eventual lead, that Morgantown wouldn’t relinquish.
Within the second quarter of final week’s matchup with Fairmont Senior, the Mohigans tried an onside kick with the rating tied 7-7. Zaiiden Lockett dove and secured the ball, giving Morgantown nice discipline place to arrange the following drive, capped off by a Caleb Nutter landing to make it 14-7 and MHS went on to win, 21-19.
Whereas it was the fast response and sure-fire arms of Lockett that put the Mohigans (5-1) in that place, it was the foot — and brains — of kicker Aidan Stire that arrange the play.
“I really feel like every little thing in regards to the kick went completely on that important play,” Stire stated. “My staff was prepared for it. I lined up and hit it excellent after which when Zaiiden got here up with it, it was only a second of peace and happiness as a result of I simply knew we had the momentum.”
Just some minutes earlier than, which may not have been the case.
Stire learn the sphere on his first kick of the evening and observed the place the Fairmont receiving staff was arrange. He additionally had the instinct, and the arrogance from his coaches, to do what he felt was proper on the final minute.
“The primary time I went on the market and I kicked it deep left in the long run zone, I noticed No. 5 (Dylan Ours) totally shifted to the left aspect,” Stire stated. “So the second time we went to kick off, I informed coach John Fowkes (MHS particular groups coordinator) about that area and he stated, ‘I belief you, no matter you see, go for it.’ And that’s what actually gave me the arrogance to go on the market and execute.
“The decision was nonetheless deep left, however the coaches put their belief in me to make the correct audible at any time when we lined up. There are the varieties of conditions that the coaches have me work by means of and we speak about throughout observe.”
MHS head coach Sean Biser has praised his particular groups unit all season. It’s clearly simply as necessary as the opposite phases of the sport and when the unit executes its gameplan, good issues are certain to occur — like they’ve proven for the Mohigans.
“We work a ton on particular groups and youngsters are doing what we coach them to do,” Biser stated. “It’s simply one other part of soccer and we put a whole lot of effort and time into it and it’s helped us all 12 months lengthy.”
Morgantown practices onside kicks and recoveries sooner or later every week throughout practices. Stire has been honing in on sky kicks, which elevate the hangtime of a kick, giving the protection staff sufficient time to run downfield and get within the return man’s face, or try to get well a botched return.
“The position half simply comes with tons and many repetition and dealing to position the ball proper the place you need it, whereas giving it top and hangtime,” Stire stated. “I really feel just like the extra you observe at this, it’s a type of expertise that the higher you turn out to be at ball placement.”
He’s capable of work on this side of the sport on the soccer discipline. For the Mohigans soccer staff, Stire has 11 targets this season and 7 of these are from free kicks, three of these got here from 50 yards out.
“That’s simply one other alternative to work on putting a ball the place I would really like it to be positioned,” Stire stated.
For the soccer staff, Stire is 16 for 16 on PAT kicks and is averaging simply over 40 yards per punt.
The Mohigans’ subsequent alternative for a win comes tonight in opposition to Parkersburg South (4-2). The Patriots fell to Bridgeport final week, 48-13. Morgantown beat Bridgeport in Week 2, 22-14.
“We had our backs to the wall (final week),” senior linebacker Jaylon Hill stated. “We knew we needed to come into the week centered.”
In 2022, Morgantown misplaced to Parkersburg South in an extra time thriller, 44-41.
“We all know they are going to be a troublesome matchup and we’ve been working exhausting in observe,” Hill stated. “Now we have that ‘bloody knuckles’ mentality.”
BY MATTHEW PEASLEE