Members of Marysville High School’s defense sandwich Jaylen Young (21) of Toledo Whitmer during last Friday’s Division I regional semifinal game. Pictured for MHS are Andrew Bentz (60), Colton Powers (32), Ethan Moeller (57) and Nick Johnson (54). (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
Marysville High School’s football team will be much closer to home when it takes the field Friday evening.
The Monarchs (12-0) will face Springfield (11-1) at Hilliard Darby High School.
Kickoff for the Division I-Region 2 championship game will be at 7 p.m.
It’s only fitting the title contest features the top two teams in the region.
The Monarchs are the region’s top-ranked team, while Springfield is No. 2.
The game will pit two past playoff combatants against each other.
Springfield defeated the Monarchs, 23-0, during the opening round of the playoffs in 2019.
Last Friday evening’s regional semifinal games left eight teams standing in the Division I field throughout the state.
That number will be cut down to four after this coming Friday.
The championship games in the other three regions of Division I are as follows (all games at 7 p.m. Friday):
1 Lakewood St. Edward (11-1) vs. 2 Medina (13-0) at Parma Byers Field;
1 Upper Arlington (13-0) vs. 2 Pickerington Central (12-1) at Westerville Central Warhawk Field;
1 Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (10-3) vs 3 West Chester Lakota West (11-1) at Mason Atrium Stadium.
Marysville earned its spot in the regional finals by rolling to a huge victory on Friday.
The Monarchs captured their third consecutive playoff victory by topping Toledo Whitmer, 49-14, during a semifinal contest.
The victory puts MHS at a football level it hasn’t reached since this time way back in 2000.
Springfield, on the other hand, defeated No. 6 Findlay by just a 13-0 count during the other regional semifinal.
Monarch head coach Brent Johnson is pleased the game will basically be played in his team’s backyard.
“I like the location,” the coach told the Journal-Tribune Sunday evening. “Our fans will travel to Hilliard Darby.”
Monarch Nation didn’t do a bad job on Friday’s hour-plus road trip to Lima Senior High School.
The MHS, or home, side of Lima’s stadium was packed.
The visitors’ portion, which was reserved for the Toledo Whitmer faithful?…. not so much.
“Marysville High School brings fans to every game,” said Johnson. “That type of support is why I fell in love with Marysville even before I became head coach,” he said.
Johnson said what he likes the best about high school sports is that generally the talent is home-grown.
“We don’t go looking for our players,” he said. “You play with who you have.”
Johnson has repeatedly said how much he enjoys coaching the 2021 Monarchs and especially likes the fact two of his sons, running back Griffin (a junior) and lineman Nick (a sophomore) are a part of the squad.
“I also enjoy the fact I coach with my good friends on the staff,” he said.
“A lot of high school football teams in the state of Ohio would like to be playing this coming weekend,” said Johnson. “We’re fortunate to be one of them that will be playing.”