Marysville got its first taste of adversity Friday night and other than the final score, the football coaches were pleased with the way their team handled it.
The final score, however, is a big piece and ultimately decides who wins and who loses.
In a weather-delayed road test, the Monarchs came up on the short end of the final score, falling 21-7 at Findlay.
“They are resilient,” Monarch head coach Brent Johnson said after the game. “They have had a lot of adversity and they have responded well this season. They have kept their heads up. They have kept fighting.”
He added, “no one likes a loss, but the key is, you have to learn from a loss.”
And Friday’s lesson?
“You can’t shoot yourself in the foot,” Johnson said. “You can’t have penalties, you have to take care of the ball, you have to close out the half.”
He said those probems haven’t reared their heads in the season’s first two weeks.
The adversity started early in Marysville’s first true road game of the season.
A series of weather delays pushed the opening kickoff back until 9:40 p.m.
Despite the delay, both teams came out of the lockerrooms sharp, trading early possessions.
The Monarchs got on the board late in the first quarter.
A 58-yard punt by Findlay’s Pat Dillon was downed inside the five and put the Monarchs deep in their own territory.
The negative field position did not seem to bother the Monarchs.
On the first play, silverclad signal-caller Nathan Morey faked the ball toss, but had already handed off to fullback Ryan Kern, who was blowing through the middle of the line.
The fake worked because by the time the Trojans had a bead on the ball, Kern was speeding through the secondary and pulling away. He didn’t stop until he crossed the goal line 97 yards later.
Joey Duke booted the extra point and with 4:50 to play in the opening quarter, the visiting Monarchs led 7-0.
The Trojans had an opportunity to cut into that lead, but missed a 28-yard field goal.
Late in the half, Trojan quarterback Max Roth found Dillon in the end zone on a deep fade pass.
Dillon had the ball in his hands, but MHS defensive back Brody Lewis took the ball out of his hands and came down with it.
Marysville was unable to take advantage of the turnover and was forced to punt with less than a minute to play in the half.
It was plenty of time, however, for Roth.
On third and nine from the Monarch 46, Roth avoided the rush and rolled right before launching a pass to the end zone.
He dropped the ball into the arms of Ben Ireland, who was sprinting down the visitors’ sideline and had beaten the Monarch secondary.
The extra point boot by Justin Wilcox tied the game at 7-7, with 21 seconds to play in the half.
Midway through the third period, the Trojans once aain found the end zone.
Aiden Eubanks took a handoff and blasted through a hole in the line.
He bounced off would-be tacklers at all three levels of the defense before zig-zagging into the end zone with 3:41 in the third quarter.
The kick gave the home team a 14-7 lead.
It was the first time in the season the Monarchs had been behind on the scoreboard.
The Trojans extended that lead moments later.
The Monarchs were putting together a drive on the ensuing possession when a double hand-off resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Findlay.
Three plays later, Roth faked the inside dive give, pulled the ball and curled around the left end into the end zone with 53 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Wilcox’s kick gave the Trojans a 21-7 lead.
The Union County squad had opportunities in the fourth quarter, but miscues thwarted drives and ended the Monarchs’ perfect season.
“We will go back, watch film and see what went wrong,” Johnson said.
The coach said in a game like this, a team learns a lot about itself.
“We have to go back to work,” Johnson said. “We have to get better.”
The 2-1 Monarchs will travel to 1-2 Grove City next week.
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