Monarchs to host Liberty in battle of .500 teams


Marysville’s Walker Heard (2) is brought down after picking up yardage against Delaware Hayes. The Monarchs will host Olentangy Liberty on Friday.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
The Marysville High School football team will look to move its record above .500 when it hosts Olentangy Liberty on Friday.
The Monarchs notched their first victory of the 2017 campaign last Friday over Delaware Hayes to push their record to 1-1.
In order to win their second game of the season, they will have to contend with a balanced Patriots offense.
“They are a very good team,” said MHS coach Brent Johnson of the 1-1 Pats. “They will spread you out and they have a pass-run ratio of about 56-44 percent.”
Liberty is led by quarterback Mitchell Okuly, who throws a strong, deep pass, according to Johnson.
Ben Roderick is a tall, rangy receiver at 6-5.
“Their receivers are big and will present a challenge for our defensive backs,” said Johnson. “We have to work on defending their passing game this week in practice.”
Liberty’s offensive line is nice-sized, but Johnson said the Monarchs match up well with them.
Among Olentangy Liberty’s linemen are 285-pounders Alex Azusenis and Nick Rosi.
The Patriots employ a 3-3 stack defense with cover three in the secondary.
Nose guard Nick Hall anchors the line at 305 pounds.
The Pats’ two inside linebackers, Skylar Wahlund and John Paolo, are aggressive, downhill players who pursue the ball well.
“We have to shorten the game this week,” said Johnson. “We have to get first downs, stay on schedule and score when we have the opportunity.
“We have to make sure we get our dudes on their dudes and we have to make sure our defense gets off the field on third down.”
Johnson said the Monarchs must keep moving the ball on third down, adding, “Time of possession will be critical for us.”

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