The role Marques Mason has played for the St. Joseph's Prep football team has changed this year.
Previously used mostly as a running back, the senior now sees significant time as a slot receiver because of the offensive packages the Hawks have relied heavily on so far.
"I want to be a multifaceted player, so I'm fine with it," the 5-foot-8, 170-pounder said. "It's all about doing whatever you can to help the team win."
The first of the Prep's seven touchdowns in Saturday afternoon's 49-14 thumping of Archbishop Wood was Mason's 16-yard catch on a wheel route.
Soon after, Mason's 58-yard punt return paved the way for junior halfback Kolbe Burrell's 8-yard TD run that gave the visiting Hawks a 14-0 lead over their Catholic League Red Division rival at Claude Lodge Field in Warminster.
"After I fielded the ball, I looked up and saw a lot of running room," Mason said. "I just took off, got ahead of the pack, and made sure no one caught me from behind."
Mason, who last season was regularly paired in the backfield with Burrell, carried only three times against the Vikings. His second attempt resulted in a 58-yard score.
"It was prefect blocking that set that up," he said. "The line opened a hole on the left side and, after that, I just had one man to beat."
Mason's 3-yard run midway through the second quarter capped an eight-play drive and gave the Prep a 28-7 cushion. Wideout Johnny Freeman's 28-yard grab set up Mason's third tally.
Mason, who played Pop Warner football for Mount Airy's Enon Eagles, totaled 197 all-purpose yards against Wood.
"He accelerates quickly, is a very decisive runner, and rarely goes down on the first hit," Prep coach Gabe Infante said.
The Hawks, ranked No. 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Inquirer, improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in division action. They have outscored foes by 215-87.
"For us, it's just about getting better each week," Mason said. "We want to practice hard every day and be as prepared as we can be for our next opponent."
Prep sophomore Kyle McCord continued to impress at quarterback, completing 16 of 19 passes for 245 yards and three TDs. He hit on 14 of 17 throws and two scores as the visitors built a 35-7 halftime advantage.
"He's poised, always prepared, and knows exactly how to capitalize on whatever the defense gives us," Mason said.
Mason said he has drawn recruiting interest from New Mexico, Stony Brook, and Monmouth, among others. The 17-year-old plans to study forensic psychology.
For Wood, which slipped to 4-3 and 2-1, junior halfback Tom Santiago carried 21 times for 84 yards.
St. Joseph's Prep 14 21 7 7 – 49
Archbishop Wood 0 7 0 7 – 14
SJP: Marques Mason 16 pass from Kyle McCord (Michael Campbell kick)
SJP: Kolbe Burrell 8 run (Campbell kick)
AW: Joe Wade 64 pass from Jake Ross (Bob Hennessey kick)
SJP: Mason 58 run (Campbell kick)
SJP: Mason 4 run (Campbell kick)
SJP: Marvin Harrison 42 pass from McCord (Campbell kick)
SJP: Johnny Freeman 56 pass from McCord (Campbell kick)
SJP: Sahmir Hagans 11 pass from Malik Cooper (Campebll kick)
AW: Ryan DiVergilis 6 run (Bob Hennessey kick)