Marysville’s Jarret Braun (32) picks up yardage against Dublin Coffman. The Monarchs will look to even their record at 4-4 when they travel to Upper Arlington on Friday.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
A pair of teams that sport matching 3-4 records will line up on the Upper Arlington football field on Friday.
The Marysville Monarchs are fresh off their Homecoming victory over Westland, while the Golden Bears are coming off a 9-6 loss to Hilliard Davidson.
The teams are close together in the recent (unofficial) computer ratings for Region II of Division I.
The Bears are 15th, while the Monarchs are 16th.
Upper Arlington is a power running team that operates out of the shotgun. There are a great many Wing T principles to its offense.
The Golden Bears are led by junior quarterback Sammy Sass.
“He’s a good athlete and one of the better throwers we will see this season,” said Monarch head coach Brent Johnson. “They also have two solid running backs (Avery Heath and Dante Landolfi).”
The Golden Bears like to balance their offense between the ground and aerial games. The skill position players operate behind a solid line.
“Their line makes it difficult to sniff out their tendencies,” said Johnson. “Coach (Joel) Cutler does a good job with the line.”
Cutler is a 1994 graduate of Jonathan Alder High School, where he was a first-team All-Ohio honoree by the Associated Press.
Johnson said the Monarch defense will have to key on Sass.
“He will run the ball, but he can also throw the 20-yard out pass from the opposite hash mark,” he said. “We’ve got to send some pressure his way and contain him.”
Landolfi also anchors the Bears’ 50 defense from his linebacker position.
“He plans to walk on at Stanford,” said Johnson.
“Their defense is very sound and disciplined,” he added. “Their perimeter people can run well to the ball.”
Johnson said the Monarchs will have to maintain a balanced offense.
“We have to attack the field 52 yards wide and make them defend that,” he said.
The Monarchs have added more passing plays to their offensive package over the past couple of weeks.
“The guys are getting more comfortable with that and it opens up everything else we want to do,” said Johnson. “It makes us a little more diverse with some more options.”
Still, the Monarchs must be able to go to their bread-and-butter if they want to reach the .500 mark.
“We have to be able to run the football,” said Johnson. “We can’t have a 60-yard rushing game and we have to establish a rhythm to running the ball against Upper Arlington.
“We need a win Friday night in order to keep pace in the OCC (Ohio Capital Conference-Central Division).”
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