Marysville High School football coach Morgan Cotter expects a postseason atmosphere when his team visits Hilliard Davidson in the regular-season finale Friday, Nov. 1.
Marysville was 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Central Crossing on Oct. 25.
The Monarchs entered the game ninth in the Division I, Region 1 computer ratings. The top 16 teams in Region 1 and Region 2 qualify for the playoffs.
Davidson was 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Central before playing Thomas Worthington on Oct. 25. The Wildcats were first in ThisWeek's Super 7 poll, second in Region 2 behind Cincinnati Moeller and sixth in the Division I state poll.
"Davidson is a perennial playoff team and right now they're playing great football," Cotter said. "It will really be a measuring stick for us to see where we're at and where we gauge ourselves going into the playoffs. It will be a playoff atmosphere."
The game will feature offenses with different styles: Davidson's option and Marys-ville's spread attack.
Through eight games, Davidson running back D.D. Clark had rushed for 901 yards and nine touchdowns on 143 carries. Running back Phillipie Motley had 342 yards and three touchdowns and running back Markus Bailey had 272 yards and eight touchdowns.
Marysville quarterback Matt Mulholland had completed 153 of 253 passes for 1,765 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and rushed for 307 yards and three touchdowns on 59 carries.
Running back Aron Mowery had rushed for 582 yards and eight touchdowns on 128 carries and wide receiver Logan Roston had 32 catches for 593 yards and five touchdowns.
"Marysville, obviously, has proven to be one of the better teams not only in (the OCC-Central) this year, but also in central Ohio," Davidson coach Brian White said. "They appear to be headed for the playoffs and have either beaten or played right with what we feel like are the better teams in our division. They are obviously being very well coached, as their kids are playing with great toughness and confidence."
Marysville fell two games behind Davidson in the league after losing to Upper Arlington 26-14 on Oct. 18 despite outgaining the Golden Bears 277-237.
With the Monarchs driving for the potential go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, UA defensive back Lewie Hughes intercepted a Mulholland pass and scored on a 96-yard return.
"When it was time for us to make a play, we couldn't make a play," Cotter said. "They did a great job of taking some things away from us offensively and ... we couldn't get off the field (defensively)."
Girls soccer team reaches district final
The girls soccer team defeated eighth-seeded and host Grove City 4-0 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 22, and the 12th-seeded Monarchs advanced to play top-seeded Dublin Coffman for a district title Oct. 26 at Westerville South.
"We played well (against Grove City) for the full 80 minutes, so it was very nice to see that," said coach Jim Daugherty, whose team improved to 11-6-1. "We played composed for the most part. A couple parts of the first half we played a little bit too quickly. When we settled the ball down, we played well. Overall, it was a great game."
Forward Kaela Kovanda scored Marysville's first three goals after she scored the game-winner in a 3-2 double-overtime victory at 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange in the second round Oct. 17.
"This game means a lot," Kovanda said after the Grove City game. "It was great. It was incredible. It felt amazing. We were underdogs. We had lost to them at the beginning of the season (3-2 on Aug. 20). We came out ready to win. We wanted this bad."
Goalkeeper Kendra Steepe had 12 saves despite playing with a broken nose suffered against Orange.
The Marysville-Coffman winner plays Dublin Jerome or Pickerington North in a regional semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Gahanna, and that winner plays Davidson, Olentangy Liberty, Watterson or Worthington Kilbourne in a regional final Saturday, Nov. 2, at a site to be determined.
During the regular season, the Monarchs lost to Davidson (4-2 on Oct. 8), Pickerington North (4-1 on Sept. 19), Kilbourne (4-3 on Sept. 12) and Liberty (6-3 on Sept. 10).
The state semifinal is Nov. 5 at a site to be determined and the state final is Nov. 8 at Crew Stadium.
Sandusky, Miller compete in regional
Sophomores Alec Sandusky and Beth Miller advanced to the Division I regional cross country meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North, qualifying from district races Oct. 19 at Watkins Memorial.
In the boys district 3 race, Sandusky was 17th of 115 runners in 17 minutes, 5.18 seconds.
"I was pretty happy because I knew I had the potential to go there," Sandusky said of qualifying for regional. "District is a rough race and I knew it was going to be a battle, but I just want to have a shot to make it to state and I knew I had to get one race at a time."
At regional, the top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway.
The Marysville boys were ninth (245) of 16 teams at district behind champion Lancaster (36). The top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced to regional.
Also competing for the Monarchs were Zach Magers (48th, 18:03.82), Josh McPheron (54th, 18:07.21), Blake Dearwester (58th, 18:09.18), Gavin Mickelson (68th, 18:19.53), Michael Coffey (76th, 18:41.96) and Matt Reed (79th, 18:55.47).
In the girls district 2 race, Miller was 18th (20:14.51) of 95 runners.
"My goal last year was to qualify out of district and because I didn't get to, I really wanted to this year," she said. "I had last year to realize how high school cross country worked. This year I could just focus on doing my best."
The Monarchs girls finished eighth (205) of 14 teams behind champion Gahanna (39). The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to regional.
Other runners for Marysville were Maddy Hoy (38th, 21:04.99), Susie Reed (39th, 21:05.85), Megan Miller (40th, 21:06.51), Jessie Kmietsch (74th, 23:07.29), Mim Stonecipher (79th, 23:36.98) and Audrey Minor (83rd, 23:05.06).