Marysville at Olentangy Berlin: Bears offense faces big test against Monarchs

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Olentangy Berlin's Colin Pethtel looks for running room as teammate Bennett Lawrence sets a block on Dublin Jerome's Seth Martin during their game Sept. 18.

A high-powered Olentangy Berlin offense will face off against a hard-nosed defense when the Bears play host to Marysville on Friday, Sept. 25, in an OCC-Cardinal Division game.

The Bears have won their last two games to improve to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the league, while Marysville is 3-1 and 2-1.

The Monarchs are coming off a 31-0 league win over Thomas Worthington on Sept. 18 at home for their second shutout in four games. 

Marysville has surrendered an average of just under 11 points per contest, despite a 31-28 loss to Hilliard Darby on Sept. 4 in its only road game through four weeks.

Thomas was limited to 115 total yards, including 56 on the ground by a defense led by junior linebacker Gabe Powers. 

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Ohio State recruit had seven tackles, including two for loss, and defensive back Logan Hall and defensive lineman Mack Hamilton added fumble recoveries.

“They have a three-down front for the most part and they can run,” Berlin coach Mark Nori said. “They cover all of the field because of that speed. They have an aggressive defense, and they play well. They can play up on the run and drop into coverage. They’re tough.”

The Monarchs had 406 total yards against the Cardinals, with 405 of those coming on the ground. Ryan Kern ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, and Griffin Johnson had 83 yards on 14 attempts. Powers rushed for 67 yards on 11 carries as the Monarchs held a 29:19 to 18:14 edge in time of possession.

“They’re a ground-and-pound offense, and they do it well,” Nori said. “They have a lot of speedy players, but they can also knock you off the ball with a big, physical offensive line. They can cause a lot of problems.”

More:Olentangy Berlin: Bears rely on Jacob Moeller's savviness

Berlin quarterback Jacob Moeller throws a pass during a 38-27 victory over host Dublin Jerome on Sept. 18. Moeller has passed for 1,446 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead a potent Bears offense, which is averaging 486 yards per game during a 2-2 start.

The Bears rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to defeat host Dublin Jerome 38-27 on Sept. 18 in league play. Quarterback Jacob Moeller was 30-for-45 passing for 321 yards and three touchdowns.

Wide receivers Bennett Lawrence (8 catches, 137 yards) Aidan Loeffler (4 catches, 50 yards, 2 touchdowns), Colin Pethtel (5 catches, 60 yards) and Justin Rader (5 catches, 45 yards) were Moeller’s top targets, and Rader also kicked three field goals.

Running back Nick Tiberio ran for 148 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries as the Bears finished with 505 yards of total offense.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

WEEK 5

MARYSVILLE at OLENTANGY BERLIN

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Marysville (3-1 overall, 2-1 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Defeated Hilliard Bradley 17-0; lost to Hilliard Darby 31-28; def. Dublin Jerome 31-12; def. Thomas Worthington 31-0

•Berlin (2-2 overall, 2-1 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Lost to Olentangy Liberty 35-21; lost to Olentangy 45-33; def. Darby 48-41; def. Jerome 38-27

•Top Monarchs: Ben Bickerstaff (OL/DL), Michael Cogossi (OL), Ryan Kern (RB/LB), Griffin Johnson (RB/DB), Aidan Lambert (RB/LB), Ethan Musel (QB/DB), Gabe Powers (RB/LB), Tanner Powers (RB/DB), Ashton Schmutz (QB/DB) and Erryl Will (RB/DL)

•Top Bears: Antonio Alonso (OL/DL), Jon Harder (OL/DL), Bennett Lawrence (WR/LB), Ethan Lee (RB/LB), Aiden Loeffler (WR/DB), Jacob Moeller (QB), Colin Pethtel (WR/DB), Justin Radar (WR/DB), Nick Tiberio (RB/LB) and Cole Troyer (OL/DL)