Hilliard Darby: Panthers set to face physical Marysville

STEPHEN BORGNA
sborgna@thisweeknews.com
Hilliard Darby's Blake Horvath tries to shake off Hilliard Davidson's Kyle Pepera during the opener Aug. 27.

Coming off a 17-13 loss to Hilliard Davidson in its home opener Aug. 27, the Hilliard Darby football team will seek to bounce back when it plays host to new OCC-Cardinal Division rival Marysville on Friday, Sept. 4.

Junior quarterback Blake Horvath will look to build on his performance against the Wildcats, as he ran for 131 yards on 15 carries with scoring runs of 44 and 5 yards.

He'll lead the Panthers' triple-option attack against Marysville's 4-3 defense, which shut down visiting Bradley in a 17-0 victory Aug. 28.

"They're playing solid defense, and they seem to continue to improve every year," said Darby coach John Santagata, whose team led Davidson 13-10 until the Wildcats' Leo Nixon scored on a 3-yard run with just over a minute remaining. "I also know they have some pretty big kids."

Connor Jones also rushed for 70 yards on nine carries for the Panthers against Davidson, and Beau Bridges carried six times for 54 yards.

Darby's defense will face a wing-T attack for the Monarchs featuring senior Ryan Kern, who rushed for 750 yards and nine touchdowns on 117 carries last season, and junior Gabe Powers.

Powers, who has committed to play linebacker at Ohio State, also is a leader on defense for Marysville and had a team-high 97 tackles last fall.

The Panthers allowed 298 yards of total offense to Davidson in Week 1, including 225 yards rushing.

"We've scrimmaged them the last several years, and they're a wing-T team. They're doing a nice job with it," Santagata said. "It sort of reminds me of Marysville years ago, when they would just come in with some big boys and run right at you, and use that misdirection in the wing-T."

The teams will meet for the first time since 2001, when Marysville won 33-6. The Monarchs had been members of the OCC-Central until the most recent conference realignment.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

WEEK 2

MARYSVILLE at HILLIARD DARBY

*When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4

*Last meeting: 2001, Marysville 33-6

*Marysville (1-0) to date: Defeated Hilliard Bradley 17-0

*Hilliard Darby (0-1) to date: Lost to Hilliard Davidson 17-13

*Top Monarchs: Michael Cogossi (OL), Logan Hall (WR/DB), Luke Harper (OL/LB), Lincoln Heard (OL/LB), Ryan Kern (RB/LB), Colby Kerns (OL/DL), Nick Kessler (TE/DL), Zach McMinn (DL), Gabe Powers (RB/LB) and Ashton Schmutz (QB/DB)

*Top Panthers: Jake Baird (WR/DB), Blayne Barnes (TE/DL), Sam Donnelly (OL/DL), James Hakes (RB/LB), Blake Horvath (QB/DB), Connor Jones (RB/LB), Kole Kendall (OL/DL), Luke Manche (RB/LB), Ben Marsh (RB/LB), Bradley Weaver (TE/DL), Eric Williams (WR/DB)