As often and thorough as the "'M&M' Boys" – Maty Mauk
and Max Morrison
– have carved up the football field in 2010, picking a favorite play or moment is like spotting Waldo in a haystack.
High School duo not only lead the country in passing and receiving, but dominate most categories by a wide margin.
Mauk, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior who is well on pace to break his brother Ben's national career mark for passing yards, has completed 270 of 406 passes for 3,908 yards and 47 touchdowns. He is almost 400 yards better than the second-most prolific passer and he's completed 16 more passes than anyone.
Morrison, a 6-1, 180-pound senior and grandson of former New York Giants all-time great Joe Morrison, has been on the receiving end of 107 of those passes for 1,524 yards and 21 touchdowns.
The reception total is a ridiculous 25 more than anyone nationally. He's 19 yards behind national leader and 2008-09 National Athlete of the Year Dorial Green-Beckham, who has played one more game, and Morrison is tied for the country's lead in TD receptions.
Yet through the gobs of numbers and completions and touchdowns, Kenton coach Mike Mauk has no trouble singling out his favorite moment. Not surprisingly, it happens multiple times per game, but very quizzically it occurs while Mauk and Morrison are on the bench – well after the outcome has been decided.
Considering the 8-1 Wildcats, who often run a no-back, no-huddle, spread attack, have outscored foes 486-157, the "M&M Boys" are often on the sideline.
"You'll never see those two just talking on the bench among themselves about something each other did," Mike Mauk said. "They are always up, encouraging the younger players, giving instruction, helping them get better. Both those kids have real good hearts and for all they accomplish, it's never about just them."
Kenton Times prep editor Kendrick Jesiowski can attest to that.
"It's all about team first with those guys," he said. "And it's not phony stuff either. You can tell they mean it."
That's refreshing considering the Wildcats jack-stomp opponents by an average score of 54-17. Morrison, for one, said he never even looks at his statistics, let alone dwell on his national-leading numbers.
"Honestly, we just don't pay a whole lot of attention to all that," he said. "All we focus on is helping the team because it's all about that. I'm just one of four receivers – without their efforts, without the line giving Maty time, without Maty putting the ball right on the mark, I wouldn't have any catches." SETTING RECORDS; MAKING A MOCKERY
Well, no catches would be hard to fathom in this high-powered attack.
Mike Mauk has always had an offensive flair since he arrived at Kenton 28 seasons ago. The Wildcats really got it going with back-to-back state Division IV crowns in 2001 and 2002 and a second-place finish in 2003.
That, of course, is when Ben Mauk
and company was making a mockery of defenses. Ben was the 2002 Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year and left with a boatload of national records or top-five rankings. Among them: Career
* Total yards – 19,628 (first).
* Passing yards – 17,364 (first).
* Passing attempts – 1,905 (first).
* Completions – 1,095 (second).
* Touchdown passes – 178 (second). Season
* Total yards – 7,928 (first, 2002).
* Passing yards – 6,540 (first, 2002) and 5,770 (second, 2001).
* Passing attempts – 674 (first, 2001) and 669 (second, 2002).
* Completions – 413 (second, 2002) and 369 (third, 2001).
* Touchdown passes – 76 (second, 2002).
Ben went on to play collegiately at Wake Forest and Cincinnati, played professionally with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL and last season played for the Cincinnati Commandos of the Continental Indoor Football League.
Maty, Kenton's ball boy during his big brother's remarkable run, has a shot to break them all though the Wildcats will need to make deep playoff runs the next two seasons.
Like his brother, Maty has been a starter since he was a freshman. He's completed 869 of 1,382 for 11,757 yards, 129 touchdowns and 44 interceptions.
If he continues to average 380 yards per game passing – like he has throughout his career (31 games) – Maty will need to play 15 more games in his career to break Ben's national yardage record.
"I don't think he even thinks about it," Morrison said. "He's all into winning, not numbers."
Besides, Maty, unlike his highly competitive brother, is more of a free spirit, more social and downright chatty.
"He just likes people and communicates real well," Mike Mauk said "He has a special love for young kids and mentoring. He has a real good heart. He's a joy really. He's active and full of energy." HURRICANE ON THE HORIZON
Coach Mike called Ben "the most competitive person I've ever been around. Don't get me wrong, he had fun for sure, but he was really all about winning and making plays and doing whatever he could to make sure we won. Maty is competitive for sure, but he's a little more laid back."
Jesiowski sees the same thing. He first started covering Kenton during Ben's junior season.
While Ben put up jaw-dropping numbers and record performances, Jesiowski saw the hurricane that was Maty's talent on the horizon.
"Here's this little elementary-aged kid heaving the ball around 40 and 50 yards," Jesiowski said. "I remember him as the ball boy on the basketball team swishing 3-pointers at that age too."
And how does Maty compare to his brother as juniors in high school?
"I think Maty might be a touch more athletic and Ben was more serious and pointed," Jesiowski said. "Maty is more free-spirited. He likes to hang out with his friends."
Morrison, a year older, has been good friends with Maty since they were in grade school. Mike Mauk and Morrison's father Rick were best friends growing up and played football together in high school. Both played defensive back in college, Mike at Ashland Ohio University and Rick at Ball State.
The next generation of Mauk and Morrison is a bit more prolific.
"They've been throwing around the ball since they were in elementary school," Mike Mauk said.
Max Morrison said Maty has always been "a character."
"He's just one of those guys everyone loves to be around," Morrison said. "No matter what he's going to make you laugh."
But come game time, Maty is no pied piper. And opponents are never left smiling.
A quick release, great vision, excellent feet – he's an 18 points-per-game scorer on the basketball team and a sprinter and 21-foot long jumper in track and field – Maty always gets the job done on the field.
Since losing his first three varsity starts, Mauk has grown up quickly, leading the Wildcats to 25 victories over their next 28 games. He finished off his freshman season with a remarkable 40 of 53 performance against Van Wert, for 582 yards and six touchdowns.
If it wasn't obvious then, it is now that Maty Mauk is a very special player.
"He's still one of the most competitive kids I know," Morrison said. "He's very, very smart on and off the field. He's a great role model and leader. It's kind of amazing he has another year in high school. It's going to be amazing to see what he can do." GOOD STOCK - BIG SHOES
For now, the "M&M Boys" are determined to win Kenton a third state crown.
Morrison, also a basketball starter and track-team sprinter, is the team's most dependable and game-breaking receiver.
And that's saying something, considering Mauk has four other legitimate threats in seniors
(64 catches, 941 yards, nine touchdowns) and Dustin Howell
(49-819-7), and juniors Kieran Fetter
(34-457-6) and Brice Fackler
Morrison has caught at least 10 passes in six games, with a high of 17 for 253 yards and four touchdowns in a 60-0 win over Bath. He's had nine catches in two other games and the low game is eight receptions.
With offers from Vanderbilt and Air Force, Morrison is a big and athletic threat.
"He's exceptionally quick and athletic and elusive," Mike Mauk said of Morrison. "Plus he just has great hands. He's the kind of guy who just makes plays."
Said Jesiowski: "He's a good leaper and runs great routes. Off the field, he seems real mature and is definitely well-spoken."
He obviously comes from good stock.
His grandpa played 13 season with the Giants and had his number (40) retired. He was tagged "Old Dependable" and owned team records for receptions (395) for 4,993 yards. He played receiver, halfback and quarterback and went on to be the head coach at three colleges, including the University of South Carolina.
He had back-to-back 8-4 seasons in 1987 and 1988 and had the team rolling before dying of a heart attack while playing racquetball in 1989. He was 51.
Max Morrison never got to him his grandpa, but he still made an impression.
"He gives me something to strive for," Max said. "He gives me a sense of pride."
Just as Ben and the oldest Mauk brother Jonathan gives Maty.
Mike Mauk wouldn't allow Maty to be interviewed for this story, calling it a team policy. "Only seniors get interviews," the coach said.
But as a dad, he said his youngest son looks up to Ben and doesn't try to fill his big shoes.
"There's inherent pressure just playing quarterback," Mike Mauk said. "But there's no pressure to be as good as Ben or like Ben. Maty is his own person and player. He has similar ambitions as Ben to simply help the team and that's probably what I'm most proud about."