The Monroe Hornets battle the Edgewood Cougars this Friday, on Senior Night, and for at least a share of the MML South title, after taking care of Dayton Stebbins 34-14. Monroe will also be playing for a shot at hosting a playoff game and for the number one seed in division four, region sixteen.
They are assured of a playoff berth, but may need a win to stay at home.
With a victory, the Hornets could win the MML South for the first time since 1994 and Monroe will have won the most MML titles ever. Right now, Monroe is tied with Franklin in most MML championships with each school having won the MML 12 times. Edgewood is in second place with 11 MML titles so the Cougars could tie Monroe and Franklin with a win.
For the first time all year, the Hornets did not sell out their side of the stadium since it had rained all day and at game time, the temperature was hovering around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Monroe head coach Jason Krause recorded his first win over Stebbins, the team he coached before coming to Monroe. Another first was the Hornets' dissatisfaction with a 20-point victory. In years past, Monroe would have been happy to win at all, let alone win a game by 20 points, but the coaches and players clearly weren't impressed by their game.
Monroe scored first early in the opening quarter of play with senior quarterback Tad Kilburn connecting with junior wide receiver Josh Herron for a nine-yard touchdown grab. Monroe tacked on another touchdown before halftime to make it 14-0 at the half when sophomore quarterback Tyler Osterman hooked up with fellow sophomore wide receiver Braden McMonigle for a touchdown from nine yards out. In the third, Stebbins finally got on the scoreboard scoring on a Eric Johnson nine yard touchdown run. The Hornets countered with a touchdown run of their own with sophomore running back Jared Ferguson scoring a four-yard touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, the Hornets finally put the game away by scoring two touchdowns. The first came off an Osterman-to-senior wide receiver Pat Harrington gain of 65 yards. Harrington was playing through a hand injury.
The next touchdown was an interception that senior cornerback Ryan Craycraft returned 45 yards for his first career touchdown. Stebbins scored a garbage touchdown near the end of the game with Jordan Cliff connecting with Tyler Norris from 26 yards out.
In other MML games, Edgewood turned it up to beat Fenwick, 21-0, and West Carrollton, in the driver's seat for an MML South title, walloped Franklin 42-7. The Pirates play at Fenwick on Friday night, where a Falcons' victory would make the Edgewood-Monroe winner the undisputed MML South champion. Talawanda fell to Lebanon, 16-0.
In Boys' Soccer, the Hornets took it to the # 2 team in Cincinnati, Summit Country Day and beat them 1-0 on Summitís home field. Monroe was a huge underdog. Robby Hendrickson had a breakaway within the first 5 minutes of the contest. Summit was caught off guard with Monroeís overall speed. Summit put heavy pressure on the Hornets the remainder of the game, but Monroeís total team defense shut Summit down. According to the paper, Adam Cox had 12 saves in the shutout but, every one of the boys on the field made crucial defensive plays. The defense (Branham McKenzie, Nolan Phelps, Cory Keith, and Alex Johnson) played their best game of the year by constantly overlapping and closing Summitís shooting lanes. The Hornets play Madison for the second time this season at Mason Tuesday, Oct. 25 ,at 7pm.
(contributed by Brian McKenzie)