Marion — Ellie Bell, the traveling trophy in the High School Football Series between Marion Harding and Ashland, heads to her new home.
Ashland won the £300 brass bell that once hung on an Erie Railroad locomotive that ran on the rail between Ashland and Marion, beating the President 47-7. The Arrows’ only other win in the series dating back to 1953 came in 1994.
Ashland struck first when he scored on a 29-yard touchdown pass from 6-foot-5 freshman quarterback Nathan Bernhardt, who made his first start. He found senior Jonathan Metzger going up to his 7-0.
On the ensuing possession, Ashland’s Parker Grisinger intercepted a pass, and Harding looked like he might be in an even bigger hole early on, but on the next play from scrimmage, Harding’s Caden Grissinger saw Harding go into the hole early on. Jones made a brilliant one-handed interception in midfield. Back on the field and returning 45 yards he scored the Prexy score.
“We’re a blue-collar town and our defense fits the blue-collar worker mold. We’re tough. We’re gritty,” said Harding coach Dan Arndt. .
Both teams continued to improve their defense. Harding shut down Ashland’s offense with a 4th and 1st attempt at Harding’s own 2-yard line. The excitement in the stadium was short-lived as Harding failed to launch the ball out of the end zone and took a safety to make the score 9-7 with 7:49 left in the first half. The teams battled through the rest of the first half, but neither found the end zone.
Arndt said, “It was refreshing to see the team fighting among themselves.”
Harding stole the ball for the start of the second half and pushed deep into his own half. The Presidents, who once again faced a tough field position, were again suspended for safety in the third period as he trailed 11-for-7.
Ashland’s offensive line brought things up for junior running back Caden Spotts. Spotting every rusher in the game, on the ground he gained 107 yards.
“We challenged the O-line. They told us we had to run, let’s take over the run game, and our O-line responded to that,” Ashland coach Sean Seder said. said.
Despite the Spots doing much of the heavy lifting, it was Ashland senior Ethan Trux who scored next with a 1-yard run to put Ashland up 18-7 with seven minutes remaining. rice field. The Spots continued to break up a chunk of yardage setting up a pass from Bernhardt to senior Landon McFrederick for a 19-yard score.
“He runs mad. He’s the guy who wants to go through you if he can go right or left,” Seder said of Spotts.
Ashland were 25-7 and kept their momentum going on the ensuing kick-off with a short kick to the right side of the field, but the Arrows picked it up.
Ashland took advantage of their good field position with a 9-yard TD grab by senior Grayson Stuley in the corner of the end zone to go up 32-7. Not to be outdone, on the next possession, the Ashland defense held the ball high and Arrows senior Conor Orr came down with it. This set up a 5-yard touchdown run for Spotts that seemed to gain momentum as the game progressed.
A bad snap for the extra point was scooped up by the Arrows and carried into the endzone to make it 40-7. I mentioned
Despite the loss, Arndt was encouraged by the team.
“Tonight we played against a lot of young players. We had seven freshmen on the football field. It’s been a good experience for them. I’m looking forward to seeing how we grow,” said Arndt. I’m here.
Bernhardt led the passing offense with 236 yards in the air. Harding’s Alex Stokes finished with a 60-yard pass. Ashland’s Landon McFrederick led all receivers with his 135 yards and Marion’s Marquis his long led the President his receiving his co-op with his 50 yards. Ashland’s Cayden Spotts led all rushers with a 107-yard performance.
Marion Harding is leading the series 14-2-1 as it was the first football game between the two schools since 2002.
And when it came time to pick up the trophy, Seder joked.
Marion Harding travels to Newark next week while Ashland plays at home to Buckeye Valley.