Marysville’s Chase Kilgore bulls his way into the end zone during last week’s game against Westland. Also pictured is Ryan Kern (32). The Monarchs will travel to Upper Arlington on Friday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
A game that could have huge implications as far as Marysville High School’s football playoff chances will take place at Upper Arlington on Friday.
The Monarchs will take a 5-2 record into the game against the Golden Bears, who stand at 4-3.
The game is considered a key contest for the Monarchs, who currently are ranked sixth in Region 2 of Division II.
The top eight teams in each region will earn a post-season berth at the conclusion of the regular season.
After a slow 1-3 start to the season, Upper Arlington will take a three-game winning streak into Friday’s game.
Included in that was last week’s 10-7 victory over Hilliard Davidson.
Both Davidson and Upper Arlington stand on the cusp of a post-season spot in Region 3 of D-I.
Davidson is ranked ninth and UA is tenth.
The Golden Bears will often times line up in the shotgun, but also like to run the midline veer, which is an old-school option offense.
“Their new head coach (Jeremy Scally) came from Hilliard Davidson’s staff and option football is their (Davidson) flavor,” said Monarch head coach Brent Johnson.
“They will feature some 2 x 1, 3 x 1 and 2 x 2 receiver looks, but in the end, they want to run the football.”
The Golden Bears’ offense is led by quarterback Jacob Leve, who is considered a top-notch runner.
“We are going to have to contain him in their option,” said Johnson.
Another weapon is running back Chris Schweisthal.
UA’s offensive line is not overly huge, but is solid on double-team blocking assignments.
“They are aggressive, but I feel our defensive line will match up well with their offensive line,” said Johnson. “Our defense has been running to the ball well and has been playing physical football.
“I really like this match-up this year.”
The Golden Bears will employ a 4-3 defensive alignment. They will on occasion walk up a linebacker to give the Monarchs a 50 look.
“One of their linebackers (Marco Landolfi) is very aggressive,” said Johnson. “They will load the box to try and stop us from going up the middle.”
Johnson said the Monarchs must display a balanced offense.
“We’re still going to try to run up the middle on them, but we’ve got to be able to hit the perimeter (either running or passing) if they shut that off,” he said.
Johnson also said field position in the kicking game will be important, adding it’s vital to gain good first-down type of yardage when returning the ball and keeping UA in a long field when kicking the ball.
“We will have to tackle well on their kick and/or punt returns,” he said.
Friday will not be the only critical game left on the Monarchs’ schedule.
After traveling to Upper Arlington on Friday, Marysville will hit the road one last time for the regular season.
MHS will travel to Davidson on Oct. 25 for another key Ohio Capital Conference Central Division battle.
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