Chase Kilgore of Marysville jumps over a Central Crossing defender to pick up yardage on Friday. The Monarchs buried the Comets, 35-0, and earned a Division I playoff berth. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
Since being hired three years ago, Marysville football coach Brent Johnson has been obsessive about a workmanlike process of rebuilding the Monarch grid squad.
After cruising past Central Crossing 35-0 Friday night, Johnson and the Monarchs were left wondering immediately after the game if their 6-4 record would be good enough to get them into the Division I state playoffs.
“We’re bringing them in tomorrow morning,” Johnson said of his team.
But rather than watching game film on potential playoff opponents or even going over the Central Crossing footage, Johnson opted to cement another brick in the framework of a changing football culture.
“We’re going to have them come in and lift,” he said. “Whether we’re in or not, we can always use another lift.”
As it stands, Marysville did all it could Friday and then got some help in the playoff picture. Both Findlay and Centerville were playing tough opponents whose computer points could have possibly tripped up the Monarchs’ playoff hopes.
But both schools lost Friday and according to preliminary results on fairly reliable websites, the Monarchs appear to have secured the eighth and final playoff spot in Region 2 of the Division I playoffs. It appears Marysville might travel to Springfield, but the final determination will have to wait for the official Ohio High School Athletic Association results Sunday.
Marysville wrapped up its first winning season since 2013 on Friday night by leaning on its two main weapons – a physical run game and a smothering defense.
The Monarchs held Central Crossing to just eight yards rushing on 23 carries. On the night, Marysville’s defense held the Comets to double digits in offensive yards, five first downs and only 32 total plays.
“Defensively we were lights out,” Johnson said.
On the other side of the ledger, the Monarchs pounded out out 321 yards on the ground and 18 first downs.
In his final game on his home field, senior running back Chase Kilgore paced the Monarchs with 111 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. He finished the regular season with 938 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Ryan Kern had more than 100 all-purpose yards, as he rushed for 67 on eight carries and added two receptions for 40 yards, including a 25-yard screen pass that moved the sticks on fourth-and-16 and set up the Monarchs’ third score.
Marysville punched in touchdowns on five of its first six possessions.
Gabe Powers went in from 29 yards out on the opening drive and then Kilgore added a one-yard score later in the period to put the score at 14-0 with two minutes left in the first quarter.
MHS quarterback Nathan Morey found Kern on the screen pass to put the ball at the one-yard-line late in the second quarter and set up another scoring run by Kilgore with two minutes left in the half.
Ryan Kern of MHS carries for yardage against Central Crossing. The Monarchs won, 35-0. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
Entering the second half with a 21-point lead, the offense went back to work as Kilgore recorded his longest scoring run of the night, a four-yarder, with just under six minutes left in the third.
Jayden Simmons closed out the scoring for the Monarchs with a one-yard dive over the middle of the line with 10 minutes left in the game.
Should something happen over the weekend to change the playoff prospects for the Monarchs, Johnson said his seniors have still done their part in furthering a successful football culture at Marysville.
“This senior class has moved our program forward, playoffs or no playoffs,” Johnson said. “I hope they get their opportunity in week 11.”
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