In a battle between two of Ohio's top spread offenses, the Kenton quarterback threw a 77-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage. A 5-yard scramble for a touchdown on the ensuing play gave his Wildcats the early lead against visiting Celina and they would never look back en route to a 58-14 victory.
The Wildcats held a 38-8 lead when the first quarter came to a close and Mauk's stat line looked like something out of a video game: 14 of 15 for 332 yards and three touchdowns.
"You've got to stick the knife in them in the first quarter," he told BSB after the game. "That's what we wanted to do and we did it."
He would finish the game 27 of 37 for 499 yards and five touchdowns despite missing a few plays after injuring his left, non-throwing shoulder and being removed as the fourth quarter began. On the ground, he carried the ball 13 times for 59 yards and three more scores. The victory knocked Celina from the top spot in the Western Buckeye League and put Kenton in position to win its third straight conference crown.
"We've been playing 7 on 7 all summer and our defense has played against some of the best in the country," Mauk told BSB after the game. "That's what it basically was tonight – 7 on 7 – so we were pretty prepared."
While Kenton has been running a spread offense for nearly two decades, Celina has only recently started experiencing success with the approach. Bulldogs quarterback Braden Billger entered the game having thrown for 1,066 yards in his previous two contests and his 589-yard effort one week prior was the fifth-highest passing total in state history.
The majority of Mauk's passes were short dump-offs that his wide receivers then turned into big gains. It is an offense his head coach and father, Mike Mauk, was among the first in Ohio to implement.
"A long time ago we were just trying to find a way to win because we couldn't run the football like everyone else in our league and still play defense," he said. "We started throwing it a long time ago and it just evolved into what we're doing now and I see more and more teams doing what we're doing."
Not all of his throws were quick, however. Maty's longest touchdown pass went for 54 yards, and he connected on a 30-yard score that saw him throw the ball across his body while being flushed to his right and drill his receiver in the back of the end zone.
It was an offense that allowed Maty's older brother Ben to throw for a national-record 6,540 yards and 76 touchdowns as a senior at Kenton. In his career, he completed 1,105 of 1,931 passes for 17,534 yards and 179 touchdowns. Scout listed him as a three-star prospect and the No. 36 quarterback in the nation.
Ben wound up signing with Wake Forest before transferring and finishing his career with Cincinnati. His father said OSU showed some interest but that the school's primary interest was in Dublin (Ohio) Coffman product Brady Quinn as well as St. Henry, Ohio, quarterback Todd Boeckman.
"He didn't meet a lot of their height and weight standards," the coach said.
The younger Mauk began his junior season having already completed 599 of 976 passes for 7,849 yards and 82 touchdowns. Not surprisingly, that has put him on the radar of a number of colleges. Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Missouri and Ball State have all offered and a number of others including the Buckeyes are showing interest.
The junior quarterback said he has taken in games at Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame this season and has plans to visit Missouri in the near future.
Should OSU issue a scholarship offer, Mike said it would mean a lot to his son.
"He grew up loving Ohio State," the coach said. "He went to Ohio State's camps when he was younger. He's like anybody else in Ohio: if you have the chance to play for Ohio State you'd love to have the opportunity to do so. He's no different. That would be one of his top choices, no doubt."
For now, though, Maty's focus is on helping his team try to capture another league championship.
"I'm not really worried about it right now," the 6-2, 185-pound quarterback said. "I'm going to finish up high school football and then I'll worry about that. I don't really about the stats and all that stuff. We're out here playing as a team and trying to win. That's what high school is about."