When you get punched in the mouth, you can either fight back or cower.
After taking their first loss of the season at Findlay last week, the Marysville Monarchs opted to come back swinging, blasting Grove City 37-3 with a new found physicality. Five different Monarchs scored touchdowns in the game.
“Our kids came back (last) Saturday and it was like they wanted to practice,” MHS coach Brent Johnson said. “That’s why I love these guys.”
The Monarchs rolled up 337 yards on the ground Friday, while the defensive line controlled the game on the other side of the ball, holding the Greyhounds to just six first downs. Grove City trailed by 13 at the half, but the Monarchs scored 21 points in the first seven minutes of the second half to put the game out of reach.
“I thought we were super physical tonight,” Johnson said.
Monarch Ryan Kern scored the only points in the first quarter, as he rolled around the right side for an easy four-yard score. Joe Duke made his first of five extra points to put the score at 7-0 with 3:52 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second period, Jaden Simmons cracked the end zone from two-yards out, after being set up by a 33-yard run from Chase Kilgore. The point after put the score at 14-0 a minute into the second period.
The Greyhounds tallied their only points of the game on the ensuing possession, driving for more than four minutes.
However, they only came away with a 22-yard field goal by David Haack that doinked the left upright before going over to put the score at 14-3 with 6:48 left until the half.
Before the ball could even be teed up for the kickoff, a flash of lightning prompted a 45-minute delay of the game. After the break, both teams were sluggish, but three Greyhound mental lapses cost them.
After taking a punt at their own 18 with less than two minutes to play in the half, Grove City was flagged for back-to-back offsides penalties.
The next snap skittered away from the Greyhound quarterback and into the end zone. There was some controversy as Monarch Ian Johnson came out of the pile with the ball when all the bodies were untangled.
However, the officials ruled the play a safety, putting the score at 16-3, where it would stay until halftime.
The Monarchs stormed out of the intermission and took the first possession for a 78-yard scoring drive. Kilgore did a lot of the heavy lifting on the march, but Brody Lewis found the end zone, taking a counter over the left side untouched for a 13-yard score.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Monarchs floated a high offering near the 30-yard-line on the left side of the field that appeared ready to go out of bounds.
When the ball changed course and stayed in play, none of the Greyhounds tried to cover it.
The MHS kickoff team fell on the ball at the Grove City 21.
A few plays later, Kilgore added injury to insult, scoring a two-yard touchdown to make the score 30-3.
Following a quick three-and-out, the Monarchs took the punt and went back to work.
Simmons ripped off a big 42-yard run to put the ball in the red zone.
A few plays later, Carson Smith rolled in from two-yards out for the score. The PAT closed out the scoring on the night at 37-3 and prompted the running clock.
In the fourth quarter, MHS’ second-teamers made their way onto the field and held their own.
They thwarted two Greyhound drives with interceptions.
Kilgore led all rushers with 159 yards on 21 carries, while Simmons added 71 yards on seven totes. MHS QB Nathan Morey connected on four-of-eight passes for 36 yards.
The Monarch defense held Grove City to 50 yards on the ground and 90 through the air.
The 3-1 Monarchs have a scheduled home game against Big Walnut on Friday. The MHS stadium renovation project could be far enough along to allow the Monarchs to host the game, but district officials have not yet made the final determination.
The final verdict will be made next week on whether a neutral location will be needed to host the game.
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