FOOTBALL: Mauk named Mr. Football

COLUMBUS (AP) — When Kenton varsity coach Mike Mauk discusses his son Maty’s record-setting career, he mentions the trip to the Ohio championship game this week, an unprecedented for the school four straight Western Buckeye League titles as well as the program mark of 21 consecutive home wins.

Left unsaid was the litany of national passing records that helped make senior quarterback Maty Mauk a unanimous winner of the 25th annual Associated Press Ohio Mr. Football award.

“The bottom line is he’s been able to help our team win,” Mike Mauk said. “That’s what we’ve asked him to do and that’s what he’s done.”

Mauk joins 2002 recipient Ben Mauk, a former quarterback at Wake Forest and Cincinnati, as the only brothers to win the award.

“It’s an honor, but at the same time it couldn’t be done without the other players on the team that make me better every game,” Mauk said.

The Wildcats (14-0) play in the Division IV state championship game Saturday at 3 p.m. against Creston Norwayne (13-1) at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium as Mauk caps a career that includes national prep standards for passing yards (18,006), attempts (2,001), completions (1,287) and touchdowns (209).

Ben Mauk held the previous passing yards record at 17,364.

That Maty Mauk (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) followed in his brother’s footsteps is no surprise since he began playing quarterback in the midget leagues.

“He’s always had a real strong personality,” Mike Mauk said of Maty. “He’s always been an active, rambunctious child. He was always busy and wanting to do something. He wasn’t a kid who wanted to sit around and be lazy.”

As Ben set his own high-school marks, Maty, nine years younger, was a team manager and ball boy for the Wildcats.

“Growing up, watching him play, I wanted to be just like him,” he said. “I wanted to be a quarterback and do everything he did.”

Mauk this season has completed 316 of 447 passes (69 percent) for 4,487 yards with 58 touchdowns and 10 interceptions to give him a career total of 58 picks.

His father said it’s not genetics that make his son successful.

“It’s his work habits, his leadership on the field and in our preparation and training,” he said. “He’s always out there with all our guys throwing or doing something to make them better.

“Even when we lost all our receivers (to graduation) he had all the younger guys out there all spring and all summer throwing and catching and being together. That type of leadership can’t be replaced.”

Mauk has thrown for as many as 592 yards in a game and this year tied a state record with nine TD tosses vs. Wellington. But it’s not always his arm that causes problems.

He was held to a career-low 97 yards passing against Hartley in the regional final on Nov. 19 but ran for 163 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns — two in the second half — to rally Kenton to a 30-28 win over the defending state champions.

“The passing game wasn’t working for us all that well,” he said. “At halftime all the linemen said the draw was there, all we had to do was beat one guy. That’s what we did in the second half. We just did what we had to do to win.”

Mauk, a Missouri commit, ends a streak of three straight running backs to win the honor. He will receive a plaque in the shape of Ohio.

Others under consideration were: Johnston-Monroe running back Ross Franklin, Cincinnati Taft defensive lineman Adolphus Washington, Steubenville all-around star Najee Murray, Wadsworth running back Jack Snowball, Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Willoughby South running back Kareem Hunt and Cincinnati Moeller running back Monty Madaris.