The Dublin Jerome High School football team kept its OCC-Cardinal Division title hopes alive with a 20-14 win over visiting Marysville on Friday, Oct. 14.
The Celtics improved to 3-5 overall and 3-2 in the league. They trail Westerville Central and Westerville South, which are tied for first at 4-1.
Marysville fell to 4-4 and 2-3.
Jerome used a late defensive stand to hold on for the win.
Marysville began its final possession at its 20-yard line with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining and nearly drove for the winning score.
The Monarchs moved to the Jerome 8 and were faced with fourth-and-goal when junior defensive back Cam Willms knocked a pass away from tight end Morgan Miller at the 3 as time expired.
“This was a big win,” Jerome coach Mark Hundley said. “You worry when you get to the point of the season we are with the type of season we’re having and what’s the attitude of the players, especially the seniors — are they going to keep fighting? And to come out and play hard and get a win like this should hopefully thrust us to these last couple of games.”
Junior running back Donovan Wilson led the Celtics with 122 yards rushing and a touchdown on 32 carries.
Marysville senior Craig Runyan, who was moved from tight end to the backfield before his team’s game with Westerville South on Oct. 7, again led the Monarchs, as he rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Runyan, however, missed most of the fourth quarter with a hand injury.
Runyan replaced senior Kody Davisson, who missed his third game in a row with a high-ankle sprain.
“Our two biggest bullets are gone,” Marysville coach Jeff Gafford said of Runyan and Davisson.
Marysville’s Joseph Boyd added 95 yards on 16 carries.
After a low-scoring first half, both offenses came alive in the second half.
Jerome erased a 7-6 halftime deficit when Wilson scored on a 7-yard run with 9:38 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Celtics in front 12-7.
It took the Monarchs just 14 seconds to retake the lead, as Runyan broke free for a 66-yard touchdown on his team’s next play from scrimmage.
The Celtics, however, answered on their next possession with Joe Bano connecting with Aaron Huesman for a 32-yard touchdown with 5:23 left in the third quarter. Huesman outleaped Marysville cornerback Zach LaRoche for the decisive score.
Bano, who scored on the two-point conversion, was 4-for-4 for 77 yards on the drive. For the game, he completed 10 of 13 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown.
Jerome had a chance to seal the win on its final possession, as it had an apparent first down at the Marysville 1-yard line with 2:30 remaining, but holding and unsportsmanlike penalties on the same play pushed the ball back to the 37.
After punter Christian Beith missed a 50-yard field goal attempt, Marysville took over at the 20.
“We had an opportunity to win at the end,” Gafford said. “We were down there knocking at the door. We wanted to get the ball to Runyan in the fourth quarter and we didn’t have him.”
Jerome outgained Marysville 385-333.
MARYSVILLE 0 7 7 0 -- 14
DUBLIN JEROME 0 6 14 0 -- 20
DJ--M. Keller 37 FG
M--Runyan 3 run (Mazza kick)
DJ--M. Keller 25 FG
DJ--D. Wilson 7 run (pass failed)
M--Runyan 66 run (Mazza kick)
DJ--Huesman 32 pass from Bano (Bano run)