Senior Maragos gets his moment in win over McMahon
Published 1:47 pm, Monday, October 12, 2015
Although he tried to hide his excitement after a 28-0 win over Brien McMahon on Friday night, Staples senior Jon Maragos was unable to do so. The senior waited his entire high school career for this moment, and he wasn’t going to let it pass up.
Starting his journey as an offensive lineman, the 5-foot-8, 180 pound Maragos was converted to a running back and took full advantage of his opportunity against the Senators. He rushed for 44 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in a game he’ll likely never forget.
“(After) I’m done playing football; that’s all I wanted was score a touchdown,” Maragos said. “I finally got one, and not just the end of the game when it’s 40-0; it was a legitimate game. I’m just so thankful, the offensive line helped me and supported me.”
It wasn’t just the offensive line: the sideline was extra fired up whenever he touched the football.
Maragos got his first carries of the season — six for 30 yards — in a 37-0 win over Wilton Sept. 25. He was denied a touchdown when the JV lineup bogged down in the red zone looking for a score late.
Starting back Ethan Burger tweaked his hamstring the following week against Warde, putting Maragos in with the first team. He had just five carries in that matchup, but with Burger set to miss the game against McMahon, Maragos was in line for the busiest night of his career.
“(Maragos) runs hard, he runs tough,” Staples coach Marce Petroccio said. “It’s an option offense; we’re not saying we’re giving you the ball, but what we are saying is if you want a chance to get that ball, you better run.”
It started early with four carries on the opening drive that ended with a turnover on downs. His first run went 10 yards.
“I didn’t know how much they were going to trust me because obviously (Burger) is such a powerhouse,” Maragos said. “I just wanted to do my job and take advantage of an opportunity and just have some fun.”
With the Wreckers leading 14-0 in the third quarter, McMahon muffed a punt that put the visitors in prime scoring position. Maragos scored from four yards out on the drive, and would add a second touchdown (two yards) in the fourth quarter that put the game away.
“We have a next man up mentality,” said center Jackson Ward. “The next guy has to know his job and do his job. We don’t have to rely on all of our first stringers.”
Fourteen players had carries for the Wreckers a year ago. Maragos wasn’t one of them. Now he’s got a pair of scores to his name.
“He had a great game, I’m happy for him; he’s a senior,” Petroccio said. “He’s waited his turn, he got it and took advantage of it. We talked about taking advantage of opportunities and that’s a perfect example of that.”