In one of the more dominant rushing performances in recent memory, Marysville’s Chase Kilgore padded the stat sheet Friday night.
The Monarch senior reached the end zone four times and led the team to a 35-14 win over Delaware Hayes.
On a night when no other back cracked 45 yards, he rolled to 232 yards with a patient style that waited for his lead blockers to pave the way off-tackle before exploding into the second level.
The Monarch ground game usually spreads the ball around evenly, but Friday the coaching staff fed its horse, to the tune of 26 carries.
“He’s going to be sore in the morning,” MHS coach Brent Johnson said after the game played at Hilliard Bradley as the Monarchs wait for their new home stadium to be completed.
The win avenged a stinging overtime loss at Delaware last year in which red zone turnovers were the undoing of the local squad.
This year, the Monarchs got back to basics by rushing for nearly 300 yards as a team and only going to the air four times.
“That’s who we are,” Johnson said.
The Monarchs came out of the gates fast, as Kilgore ripped off a 52-yard run in the opening drive before the drive went flat inside the 20.
Marysville faced fourth-and-five at the 18 and opted to go for the first down.
Kilgore got the five and plenty more, squirting into the end zone around the left side.
Kicker Joe Duke, who was perfect on the night, split the uprights for a 7-0 Monarch lead just under three minutes into the game.
That’s where the score stayed until the Monarchs opened the second quarter with another march.
Ryan Kern dealt the big blow, hauling in a pass from quarterback Nathan Morey and rumbling 38 yards to the Delaware five.
Kilgore went in on the next play as the Monarchs put the score at 14-0 with 10:47 left until the half.
In the middle two quarters, Delaware opened up its passing game and began to give the Monarch defense some trouble.
The Pacer offense had streaks of potency as it picked up 116 yards on the ground and 165 in the air.
Delaware saw its best scoring chance of the first half come with less than three minutes to go in the half.
Pacer QB Blake Eiland found Jahi Broussard-Nash on a screen pass. The shifty runner zigged and zagged his way to an 86-yard touchdown that was negated on a holding call.
The Pacers eventually pushed into Monarch territory and tried a couple of long passes near the end zone.
Those offerings fell incomplete as the Monarchs took the two-score advantage into the half.
Delware kept its momentum into the third quarter and quickly punched Marysville in the mouth.
The Pacers drove the field, converted a fourth down try and then found the end zone when Broussard-Nash went in from 17 yards out.
Kyle Klumpp’s PAT put the score at 14-7 with more than a quarter-and-a-half left in the game.
After being unchallenged in a blowout against Northland last week, Johnson admitted the score by the Pacers was the first time this season that a sense of urgency was put on his squad.
“That was some adversity,” he said.
The Monarch coach hoped his team would answer the challenge and they did, with an 80-yard, four-and-a-half minute drive that was nearly all Kilgore.
He capped the drive with his third TD on a 10-yard run as the Monarchs held a 21-7 advantage with 3:18 left in the third quarter.
An interception by Monarch Ashton Schmutz set up a short field early in the fourth quarter as he returned the ball 52 yards to the Delaware 38.
Kilgore ripped off 15 yards on the next play and then went into the end zone from the 23 on the next play.
The score, though, was wiped off the board by a penalty.
Marysville eventually maneuvered back inside the 20 but faced a fourth down.
Delaware was early on the snap, giving the Monarchs a fresh set of downs.
Morey found Kern on a pass in the right flat and he took the ball to the two, before Kilgore went in for the fourth time with 6:26 left to play.
Delaware quickly answered with a two-minute drive and score to cut the MHS lead to 28-14.
An onside kick was smothered by the Monarchs.
After killing some clock, MHS gave the ball back to the Pacers, but they returned the favor with under two minutes left to play on a failed fourth down attempt at their own 25.
Kern crossed that distance on the next play as the Monarchs cruised across the finish line with their second win of the season.
The Monarchs will travel to Findlay on Friday.
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