Brody Lewis (26) of Marysville stops a Northland ball carrier on this play. The Monarchs rolled past the Vikings, 49-0, on Friday.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
When stadium construction delays forced Marysville’s football home opener to be moved to Olentangy, district officials promised to make the Delaware County stadium as much like a home game as possible with banners, a Monarch merchandise trailer and a boisterous student section.
It’s also fortunate that someone thought to bring a Marysville victory bell.
The Monarchs walked into the unfamiliar stadium Friday night and made themselves right at home, pasting the Northland Vikings, 49-0.
The game was almost over before it began as Marysville raced out to a 21-0 lead in the first six minutes of the game.
“I loved our start,” MHS coach Brent Johnson said. “We have to be a fast-starting team.”
As it turned out, Marysville’s first score would be enough to put the game away as the overmatched Viking offense had more penalty yards than offensive yards.
Northland was flagged for 30 yards while picking up just 17 total yards of offense.
To be fair, two snaps that sailed over the punter’s head tallied negative 51 rushing yards, so the total was a bit deflated.
Without the bad punt snaps, Marysville held the Vikings to 64 yards passing and just four yards rushing.
On the other side of the ball, Marysville rolled up 353 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, with Ryan Kern earning three scores by himself.
Northland miscues resulted in the Monarchs starting their first three possessions inside the Viking 25.
Marysville’s Ian Johnson scooped up a fumble at the 22 on Northland’s first drive and Kern turned that into six points on a 10-yard run.
Joe Duke hit his first of seven extra points to make the score 7-0 two minutes into the game.
After a three-and-out on the next series, the Northland punt snap was high and came to rest at the Viking 5.
Two plays later, Jayden Simmons went into the end zone around the left end to put the Monarchs up by 14 just over four minutes into the game.
On the Vikings’ third possession, Monarch Lincoln Heard snatched an interception and returned it to the Northland 20.
This time, it was Chase Kilgore’s turn to hit paydirt for a 21-0 MHS lead at the 5:22 mark of the first half.
“That broke their backs early,” Johnson said of the three quick scores.
Following another bad punt snap, Kern picked up his second touchdown, dragging people into the end zone from 11 yards out, to put the score at 28-0 with more than two minutes left in the opening quarter.
Early in the second stanza, the Monarchs finally had an opportunity to put a drive together, taking possession at their own 11.
MHS, which only passed the ball three times in the game, used to of those attempts early in the drive with success.
Nathan Morey found Kilgore on a swing pass for 15 yards and tight end Nick Kessler over the middle for 20 yards.
“We didn’t have to go to play action,” Johnson said. “We have to throw more than that (down the road).”
After the two completions, the Monarchs went back to the ground and pushed down the field.
Kern went in again from 10 yards out to make the score 35-0 with more than eight minutes left until the half.
Marysville scored again when Simmons broke loose on a counter and raced in from 50 yards.
As a result, the Monarchs held a 42-0 lead with 2:38 until the intermission.
Marysville actually threatened again just before the half, but let the game clock run out while sitting at the Viking 20.
The second half was entirely staffed by second-teamers, who more than held their own against the Northland starters, playing under a running clock.
While the MHS reserves held the Viking offense in check, Clark Hamilton made good on his seven rushing attempts in the half to be the game’s leading rusher at 103 yards.
Hamilton also scored the half’s lone touchdown on a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Johnson was very pleased that so many reserves were able to get two full quarters of experience under the Friday night lights.
He said there was no letdown in effort between the first and second-teamers as his squad played with high energy for 48 minutes.
“With our schedule, we’ll have to play like that,” Johnson said.
The 1-0 Monarchs will host Delaware in another home-away-from-home game Friday, this time at Hilliard Bradley.
Johnson said the Monarchs have been itching to line up against Delaware after a deflating 17-16 overtime loss to the Pacers last year.
Despite a number of turnovers inside the red zone, Marysville still forced overtime at 10-10 and had a chance to win the game.
The Monarchs, though, were stopped just short on a two-point try in OT.
“We needed this game for confidence,” Johnson said. “They know what’s ahead of them.”
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