It might seem to opponents that the Marion-Franklin High School football team never runs out of strong leaders.

It might seem to opponents that the Marion-Franklin High School football team never runs out of strong leaders.

In 2013 graduate Corry Benson, the Red Devils lost a three-year starter at quarterback from a team that made it to a Division II regional final a year ago. Marion-Franklin also was forced to replace most of its offense.

Then in a 27-2 win over visiting Brookhaven on Sept. 6, junior running back and linebacker Alijahwon Tarvin -- whom coach Brian Haffele called "our leader" -- went down with a broken leg early in the second quarter.

Stepping into that leadership role has been senior running back and defensive back Jhulyis Monroe.

"(Monroe's) a senior, a two-year starter," Haffele said. "It's what we expect out of our seniors. It's kind of his turn."

The Red Devils, who are 2-1 after closing the non-league schedule with a 28-14 loss Sept. 13 to Hartley, open City League-South Division play Friday, Sept. 20, at home against Independence.

Marion-Franklin, which has won nine league championships in a row, has been led on both sides of the ball by Monroe. He has rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and has two interceptions.

Senior slot receiver Landon Yeartie, who has 223 yards rushing on 43 carries, also has been a key skill-position player.

Marion-Franklin has won 26 consecutive league games, with its last league loss coming Sept. 25, 2009, when it fell to Walnut Ridge 21-14.

Other league matchups Friday, Sept. 20, include Walnut Ridge at Columbus South and Eastmoor Academy at Columbus West.

West, which lost to Franklin Heights 53-26 on Sept. 13 to fall to 1-2, has one of the area's best athletes in senior Charles Holland.

Because of Cowboys coach Mike Flusche's desire to get the ball in Holland's hands as often as possible, he was moved to quarterback after beginning the season at wide receiver.

"If I had one of my typical quarterbacks, Charles would still be one of the wide receivers," Flusche said. "He's going to touch the ball every play when he's playing quarterback."

West also features senior middle linebacker Kenny Hoover, senior defensive end Ethan Scholfield and junior two-way lineman Twain Davis.

Cougars out to defendNorth football title

Beechcroft enters its City-North opener Friday, Sept. 20, at Whetstone having won its last 14 league games and at least a share of the last three league championships.

The Cougars have struggled on offense and are 1-2. They opened with a 14-0 win over Dayton Dunbar on Aug. 30 but lost to Dublin Jerome 26-14 on Sept. 6 and fell to Walnut Ridge 24-0 on Sept. 13.

Other City-North matchups Friday, Sept. 20, include Brookhaven at Northland and Mifflin at Columbus East.

Brookhaven has won its last six meetings against Northland, including 33-13 a year ago. The Bearcats followed a 27-2 loss to Marion-Franklin by losing to Central Crossing 10-7 on Sept. 13 to fall to 1-2.

Mifflin and East both are 1-2.

"It's frustrating because a lot of (our struggles have been with) penalties, but we had a shutout (in a 24-0 win over Westland on Sept. 6) and that's always good," Mifflin coach Gregg Miller said.

Senior Marsaan Banks earned the starting quarterback job during the preseason, but sophomore Mike Bell-Wheelwright is expected to become a key contributor at the position. Bell-Wheelwright is a transfer from Worthington Kilbourne who Miller said will be "one of the best to come through the City (League)."

Other standouts for Mifflin have been junior wide receivers Stanley Jackson and Montrese Frazier.



•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Beechcroft 43-6

•Beechcroft (1-2) to date: Defeated Dayton Dunbar 14-0; lost to Dublin Jerome 26-14; lost to Walnut Ridge 24-0

•Whetstone (2-1) to date: Def. Columbus South 42-32; def. Africentric 40-0; lost to Whitehall 32-18

•Top Cougars: Adonis Davis (RB/LB), Darius Ford (WR/DB), Khalor Franklin (RB/LB), Rayshawn Norah (WR/DB) and Mike Powers (WR/DB)

•Top Braves: Ramroth Finnegan (QB), Trent Harper (WR/DB), Chris North (RB) and Melek White (RB/DB)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Brookhaven 33-13

•Brookhaven (1-2) to date: Def. Columbus West 49-20; lost to Marion-Franklin 27-2; lost to Central Crossing 10-7

•Northland (2-0) to date: Def. Independence 20-18; def. Cincinnati Taft 36-30

•Top Bearcats: Bruce Foster (QB/LB), Paul Hughes (TE/LB), Davonte Lewis (RB/LB), David Peoples (RB) and Takeyvion Simmons (RB/LB)

•Top Vikings: Jhustus Cornley (WR/DB), Nateshawn Hargrove (RB/LB), Malcolm Marshall (WR/DB), Glenn Smith III (QB) and Abu Turay (RB/DB)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Mifflin 20-13

•Mifflin (1-2) to date: Lost to Licking Heights 46-0; def. Westland 24-0; lost to Watkins Memorial 26-12

•East (1-2) to date: Lost to Hamilton Township 48-6; def. Briggs 52-32; lost to Westland 28-12

•Top Punchers: Marsaan Banks (QB), Montrese Frazier (WR), Michael Gause (OL/DL), Jakob Green (WR/DB) and Stanley Jackson (WR/DB)

•Top Tigers: Asa Burke (RB/DB), Nick Burke (TE/LB), Natrell Cunningham (WR/LB), James Curry (QB) and Zay'on Mock (RB)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Briggs 28-22

•Briggs (0-3) to date: Lost to Watkins Memorial 62-0; lost to Columbus East 52-32; lost to Ready 63-20

•Africentric (0-3) to date: Lost to Linden-McKinley 28-0; lost to Whetstone 40-0; lost to Bainbridge Paint Valley 46-0

•Top Bruins: Tyrell Harris (LB), Tyson Miles (QB) and Bobby Walker (OL)

•Top Nubians: Darius Brown-Walker (RB), Michael Hartway (WR/DB) and Trevon Potts (QB)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Eastmoor 45-15

•Eastmoor (1-2) to date: Def. Westland 42-7; lost to St. Charles 48-8; lost to Thomas Worthington 35-12

•West (1-2) to date: Lost to Brook-haven 49-20; def. Linden-McKinley 33-22; lost to Franklin Heights 53-26

•Top Warriors: Cameron Jackson (LB), Martine Perez (RB/DB/P), Tyler Simmons (QB), Jaylen Smith (OL) and Jaylen Woody (RB)

•Top Cowboys: Twain Davis (OL/DL), Charles Holland (QB/DB), Kenny Hoover (LB), Trenton Miller (WR) and Markell Wyche (WR)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Marion-Franklin 36-30

•Independence (1-2) to date: Lost to Northland 20-18; def. Central Crossing 44-32; lost Westerville Central 54-32

•Marion-Franklin (2-1) to date: Def. Upper Arlington 26-7; def. Brookhaven 27-2; lost to Hartley 28-14

•Top 76ers: Anthony Bange (QB), Ronnie Kuipers (RB), Kevon Jones (RB), Iman Lowery (WR/LB) and Eriq Shaw (WR/DB)

•Top Red Devils: Devante Collins (OL/DL), Jhulyis Monroe (RB/DB), Martesse Patterson (OL/DL) and Landon Yeartie (WR)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Centennial 15-8

•Centennial (2-1) to date: Defeated Grandview 20-7; def. Franklin Heights 48-47; lost to Bexley 34-22

•Linden (1-2) to date: Def. Africentric 28-0; lost to Columbus West 33-22; lost to Columbus South 48-6

•Top Stars: Jirequez Fair-Harris (TE/LB), Jeremy Johnson (QB/P), Kenny Lambert (OL/DL), Nick Martin (OL/DL), Noah Martin (OL/DL), Tyler Patterson (WR) and Darsean Watts (LB/RB)

•Top Panthers: Nick Battle (RB/LB), Davounte Cox (WR/DB), Wanya Glenn (QB), Marquise Manns (WR/DB), Josh Spelhaug (OL/DL), Hasan Vance (TE/DL) and James Williams (WR/DB)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20

•Last meeting: 2012, Walnut Ridge 40-12

•Walnut Ridge (2-1) to date: Lost to Watterson 17-12; def. Groveport 28-6; def. Beechcroft 28-14

•South (1-2) to date: Lost to Whetstone 42-32; lost to Zanesville 55-14; def. Linden-McKinley 48-6

•Top Scots: Malik Harrison (QB), Jaisean Johnson (RB), Josh Jordan (DL), Anthony McKee (WR/LB) and Daveon Miskel (DL)

•Top Bulldogs: Nigel Brown (OL), Zontonio Edwards (OL/DL), Deone Lindsey (RB/DB) and Terric O'Neal (QB)