Marysville’s Bodie Eberhart (right) tries to reach for a batted ball Friday night at Upper Arlington. The Monarchs lost, 34-7.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
In its four losses this season, the Marysville football team has not been outclassed.
That can’t be said of its fifth loss.
In losses to Jon Alder, Olentangy Liberty, Olentangy and Dublin Coffman, the Monarchs were hanging tough into the final quarter. Friday night at Upper Arlington, the Golden Bears put away the Monarchs by halftime.
Arlington scored 20 points in the second quarter and cruised to a 34-7 win in a game between teams with identical 3-4 records.
Friday’s first half marked the first time MHS coach Brent Johnson did not like his team’s intensity and effort.
“We got out ‘physicalled’ in the first half,” Johnson said. Later he added, “We just didn’t show up in the first half tonight.”
Johnson acknowledged that his team has played seven straight games without a letdown in emotion. Even in losses, Johnson has consistently praised his team’s energy.
But when a team plays at a high level for 21 quarters, it can’t last. Johnson said the first-half letdown, which led to a 27-0 lead for Arlington, was apparent.
“This game’s about effort and being physical,” Johnson said. “We have to get back to our brand – getting that tough four yards.”
Even the Monarch defense, which has at times bailed out the MHS offense with a bend-but-don’t-break mentality, was gashed in the first half, including three touchdowns through the air in the second quarter.
“Tonight was the first time in a while we’ve given up the big ‘pop,’” Johnson said of the big plays.
Through all the negatives, however, the Monarchs rallied in the second half, holding the Golden Bears to seven points while putting up a touchdown of their own.
The creative Arlington offense was as comfortable running a reverse as a bubble screen, rushing for 247 yards on the night and passing for 97 more.
The Monarch passing game was nonexistent, as quarterback Walker Heard completed just one pass for four yards. The MHS run game tallied 163 yards on the night, but 71 of those came on one play.
A shanked punt by the Monarchs midway through the first quarter ignited the UA offense, as it would score touchdowns on four of the next five possessions.
The Bears took the ball near midfield, but moved quickly into the red zone as quarterback Sammy Sass moved left on an apparent option but tossed the ball to Josh Rushin coming the other way on a reverse. He took the ball 24 yards to the Monarch 9, and Sass went in on a keeper from there on the next play. The point after put the score at 7-0 with 2:48 left in the quarter.
When the Bears got the ball back just before the quarter expired, it set up a disastrous quarter for the Monarchs. Arlington went on marches of 65, 56 and 74 yards, as Sass punctuated all three with scoring strikes.
His first two went to Avery Heath for six and 44 yards while the third went to Rushin on a 10-yarder. Except for one missed extra point, it was a near flawless 12 minutes for UA, which went into the locker room with a 27-point advantage.
Marysville looked like a different team in the second half, forcing an opening drive punt and then hitting for a big play. Monarch Jarret Braun took a sweep around the left end, found a crease and hit the jets up the sidelines for a 71-yard touchdown.
Thomas Wolfe’s point after put the score at 27-7 with 9:44 left in the quarter.
Following another UA punt, Marysville’s coaching staff showed it was not playing to keep the score close, opting to go for it on fourth-and-1 at its own 29.
The Monarchs converted, but couldn’t move the ball much from there and dropped back to punt. Bodie Eberhart, though, tucked the ball and ran on a fake, coming up a couple yards short.
Despite the short field, a big sack by linebacker Thomas Rush helped force another Bear punt. This time, Monarch Sam Essig got a hand on it and the Monarchs fell on the blocked kick at the UA 38.
A sack and penalty quickly had the Monarchs facing second-and-32 and they eventually punted.
Arlington took the ball at its own 14 with under two minutes to play in the third quarter and marked 86 yards over the next four minutes as the game went into the final period.
Eli D’Herete took the ball into the end zone from 18 yards out but was called for a rare offensive facemask infraction, putting the ball back at the 19.
On the next play, D’Herete kept his hands to himself and went back into the end zone. The point after closed out the scoring at 34-7 with 9:49 left in the game.
Johnson said the Monarchs will be back at work today in an effort to come back “ready and raring” for next week’s game at Hilliard Davidson.
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