As long as the Upper Arlington football team keeps winning games — and stays atop the OCC-Central Division as a result — coach Jeremey Scally couldn’t care less how those wins come about.
But Scally admitted his blood pressure was high for the second week in a row, after Shea Keethler’s fumble recovery with 1 minute, 30 seconds to play Oct. 18 capped a wild sequence and sealed a 10-6 win over Marysville to improve UA to 5-3 overall and 3-0 in the league.
The Bears also sealed a 10-7 win over Hilliard Davidson seven days earlier with a late fumble recovery, although that one came with 3:50 to play.
“The sign of a good team is that good teams figure out a way to win those games, especially when you don’t play really well and your defense is on the field virtually the entire game,” said Scally, whose team’s four-game winning streak is its longest since 2016. “We earned everything we got and we found a way. They are incredibly physical.”
UA scored its only touchdown with 2:02 to play in the first half when Dominic Chiavaroli caught a 6-yard pass from quarterback Jake Leve, answering a 4-yard touchdown run from Ryan Kern that gave Marysville a 6-0 lead.
The Bears tacked on a 31-yard field goal from Zac Yoakam in the final seconds of the first half, then leaned on their defense during a scoreless second half.
Marysville chewed up most of the fourth quarter with a 16-play, 75-yard drive.
On first-and-10 at UA’s 14, Kern’s apparent go-ahead touchdown run was negated by a holding call.
Two plays later, Kern caught a pass from quarterback Nathan Morey and advanced to UA’s 15 before linebacker Marco Landolfi popped the ball loose and Keethler recovered.
“We got a second chance after that holding penalty. Marco came in on a screen, he popped the ball out and it rolled right to me,” Keethler said. “I think this shows the grit of our team.”
Kern rushed for 71 yards on 16 carries to lead the Monarchs, who fell to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Central.
Marysville committed eight penalties for 90 yards to UA’s four for 25 yards.
“You can’t shoot yourself in the foot like that,” Monarchs coach Brent Johnson said. “We’re learning how to get a good, close win like this. I knew it’d be physical and defensive. Both of us play whistle to whistle.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final MARYSVILLE 0 6 0 0 6 UPPER ARLINGTON
0 10 0 0 10
M—Kern 4 run (kick failed)
UA—Chiavaroli 6 pass from Leve (Yoakam kick)
UA—Yoakam 31 FG