Marysville’s Joey Robinson (32) looks for running room while Andres Rio (11) prepares to make a block against Grove City. The Monarchs will host Olentangy on Friday.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
The Marysville Monarchs return home Friday evening for a game that will probably present more of a challenge than last week’s victory over Grove City.
The Olentangy Braves will bring a 3-1 record to Monarch Stadium. They are rated as the third-best team in Division I’s Region 2, according to the unofficial weekly computer rankings.
The Monarchs (2-2) are 13th in the same region of those ratings.
The Braves are a spread team that likes to first establish the run behind a good-sized offensive line.
Ali Iverson is described by MHS head coach Brent Johnson as a scatback who goes a good job of cutting back across the grain to pick up yardage.
“They are also a good zone-blocking team,” said Johnson. “With that, our defense will need to be ‘gap-sound’ on their zone screens.”
Olentangy’s offense is led by quarterback Riley Bruening.
“He’s a good ball player,” said Johnson. “They like to run the football first, but they have some athletic receivers as well.”
Ben DeWolfe, Marcus Elliott and Samuel Konadu are some of the wide-outs that the Monarchs will have to watch out for during the game.
“Their receivers do a good job of finding holes in your secondary,” said Johnson. “They are definitely a double-threat offense.
“We have to shut down their running game and key on their receivers,” he said. “We have to get them into third-and-long situations and then we have to get off the field on third down.”
The Braves will come at the Monarchs with a 4-3 defensive front.
Their top end is Jamir Benton (6-6, 220-pounds) and their best linebacker is Justin Stewart (6-0, 190).
“They don’t stunt a lot, but they do run well to the football,” said Johnson.
Johnson said Olentangy is a well-coached, fundamentally-sound football team.
“However, we’re at the point where everyone we play is well-coached,” he said.
The Monarch boss said his team’s offense must control the football and rack up first downs.
“We’ve got to stay on schedule and sustain drives,” he said. “Olentangy’s defense is an open-spaced team and we have to make them play the gaps.”
Johnson said Marysville has to attack the Braves’ defensive line and take the fight to them.
“They’re good when you man up against them,” he said. “We will need to be strong with our angle blocking assignments. That’s what our Wing T offense is all about and it’s just a matter of executing it.
“If we can flip the field and control the clock, that’s going to be good for us,” said Johnson. “We can’t have any turnovers or negative yardage plays.
“We have to compete on every single play for 48 minutes.”
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