Ryan Kern runs for a touchdown against Upper Arlington on Friday. The score, however, was nullified by a penalty. The Monarchs lost on the Golden Bears’ field, 10-6. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
When Marysville’s Ryan Kern broke free around the left end with about two minutes left in the game Friday night, the ghosts of seven straight losses to Upper Arlington came with him.
With each of the 14 yards he covered en route to the end zone for the go-ahead score, years of missed opportunities against the Ohio Capital Conference Central Division elite washed away. It would be the capper to an incredible final drive – the type of effort that can reroute an entire program.
And then came a flash of yellow.
A late holding penalty, called 15 yards behind the play as Kern was heading into the end zone, wiped the score off the board and derailed a drive that would have gone down as one of the best in Marysville history.
Instead, the Monarchs went home with a 10-6 loss in a game that could have all but punched their ticket into the playoffs.
Head coach Brent Johnson was short on words, as he tried to describe how his team can learn to finish games.
In the end he determined that Marysville, which is now 0-20 against league foes Dublin Coffman, Upper Arlington and Hilliard Davidson, simply needs to win a big game to shake off the stigma.
“It’s a belief thing,” Johnson said. “A confidence thing.”
Make no mistake, the Monarchs, even when trailing, dominated the game. They monopolized time of possession,
outgained the Bears on offense, ran nearly twice as many plays, held a lopsided advantage in first downs and controlled
Outside of a five-minute stretch at the end of the first half during which UA scored all its points, it was all Monarchs.
“We’re playing good football,” Johnson said. “Just not good enough to win.”
Marysville’s offense was methodical and grinding. The Monarchs gained 285 yards and never had a play go for more
Quarterback Nathan Morey was efficient, completing 10-of-14 passes for 116 yards.
On the other side of the ledger, UA had runs of 42, 31 and 21 yards, en route to 193 yards on the ground. Golden Bear
signal caller Jacob Leve was not efficient, but it didn’t matter, as he was 1-for-5 with a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Marysville marched from the opening gun, pushing the opening drive to the Arlington 30. A holding call put the
Monarchs in a hole and they were forced to punt after chewing up half of the first quarter clock.
MHS pinned UA at the 12-yard-line to start both of its drives in the first quarter and the Bears responded with just one
Marysville took a punt at its own 43-yard-line as the scoreless game moved into the second quarter.
A holding penalty was called on the first play of the period.
However, a 13-yard run from Kern and a 17-yard reception by Chase Kilgore moved the chains.
The Monarchs continued to push, but faced fourth-and-one at the 18.
Kern picked up the needed yard and the Bears helped with a defensive chop block penalty that put the ball at the five.
Kern bulled his way in from there, but the Monarch PAT missed.
As a result, MHS held a 6-0 lead after erasing the first seven minutes of the second quarter.
UA responded, energized by Chris Schweisthal’s 42-yard run.
Leve finished the drive with his only completion, finding Domivic Chiavaroli in the end zone.
Zack Yoakum’s PAT gave the Bears a 7-6 edge with just over two minutes left in the half.
The Monarchs punted the ball away with just over 30 seconds remaining and it appeared Arlington was content to kill
UA called a draw play rather than going to the air from midfield. The play went for 16 yards.
The Bears spiked the ball to stop the clock.
They called another draw, this time for 21 yards.
With seven seconds left in the half, Yoakum drilled a 31-yard field goal to put the score at 10-6 heading into the half.
After a slow start to the second half by both teams, Marysville pushed inside the UA 30 on a drive that ate more than
four minutes of the third quarter clock.
They had another in the fourth quarter before they were stuffed on fourth down at the 28.
UA punted the ball back to Marysville at its own 23 with 9:22 left in the game.
That set up a miraculous, gritty, but ultimately heartbreaking final drive.
Marysville survived a fourth-and-one situation near midfield before Kilgore hauled in a pass and took it inside the 30.
An unnecessary roughness call in the backfield wiped the play away. Instead, the flag resulted in a 35-yard field position
swing and put the Monarch at second-and-27 in their own territory.
Undaunted, Morey found Kern on a swing pass on second down for 16 yards.
He then hit Jake Carper for 10 yards to set up another fourth-and-one at the UA 39 with 4:14 left to play.
Gabe Powers, who converted the earlier fourth down, made good again, rolling 15 yards to the Bears’ 24.
Kilgore picked up another first down at the UA 14 and the home team’s defense was all but done.
That’s when Kern went around the left end unchallenged for a TD, only to have it wiped out with a holding call.
Facing first-and-20 at the 24 with just over two minutes left in the game, the Monarchs picked up three yards on first down.
Kern caught a pass out of the backfield and had room to run. However, he was upended and lost the handle on the ball.
UA was on it at the 15 with 1:25 to play. A Marysville comment on the play drew a personal foul penalty, which was
followed by two more on the Monarchs before the end of the game.
At 5-3, the Monarchs will travel to Hilliard Davidson on Friday.
The Monarchs may need a win over the Wildcats, who topped Coffman 15-14 Friday, in order to reach the playoffs.
Johnson admitted a game like the one against Arlington could shake a team’s confidence and make them want to give
up on the season.
However, he doesn’t see that in his team. The Monarch coach said his team’s desire was evident in their reaction to the
loss – a combination of anger and shock.
“I’ve got a lockeroom that’s torn up (emotionally) right now,” Johnson said. “And that’s how they should feel.”
MHS’ Gabe Powers (36) gains yardage against Upper Arlington on Friday. The Monarchs lost 10-6. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
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