Lemon-Monroe wins sixth straight; Osterman, Fergusen spark second half explosion

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Monroe 34, Waynesville 17
For 24 minutes Friday, Waynesville controlled
Lemon-Monroe’s offense like few have been able to.
At halftime the Hornets, who average 37.8 points per game, had run nine plays for 11 yards and trailed 3-0. Too bad for Waynesville, game’s last 48 minutes. Erupting for 371 yards and five touchdowns in the second half,
Monroe stung the Spartans 34-17 at Clinton Fultz Field.


WAYNESVILLE – For 24 minutes Friday, Waynesville controlled
Lemon-Monroe’s offense like few have been able to the last three years.
At halftime the Hornets, who average 37.8 points per game, had run nine
offensive plays for 11 yards and trailed 3-0.

Too bad for Waynesville, game’s last 48 minutes.

Erupting for 371 yards and five touchdowns in the second half,
Monroe stung the Spartans 34-17 at Clinton Fultz Field in a match up of
Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division leaders.

Monroe improves to 7-2 overall and 5-0 in the Buckeye. The Hornets
have won six straight after a 1-2 start. Waynesville, which also
started 1-2, drops to 6-3, 4-1. The Spartans had a five-game win streak
snapped.

“This team deserves better than the effort we put forth in the first
half,” Monroe senior Jared Fergusen said. “I know Tyler (Osterman)
feels the same way. We just had to come out and give it to them. We
owed that to our team, our coaches and our community.”

Behind Fergusen and Osterman, Monroe rallied quickly.

Fergusen, a 6-2, 220 pound wrecking ball, rushed for 104 yards in
the second half after netting just seven in the first. He also scored
on runs of 10 and 47 yards.

“Fergusen is a man. He really is,” Monroe coach Jason Krause said.
“He’s been a man the last four or five weeks and he’s had several big
games.”

So has Osterman.

A three-year starter at quarterback, the senior torched the Spartans
in the second half for 258 total yards. He completed five-of-six passes
for 128 yards and a TD and rushed for over 100 yards for the first time
in his high school career, netting 124 on 10 carries. Osterman had TD
runs of 50 and 15 yards.

“The play he made on that third and long (50-yard TD run) was
unbelievable,” Krause said. “ I still don’t know how he stayed up. He
made a heck of a play and he does that all the time.”

In the first half, Waynesville made most of the plays.

The Spartans opened the game with a 15-play, 70-yard drive that
ended in a 20-yard Max Gabbard field goal with 5:47 left in the first
quarter. The Spartans had two other possessions deep in Monroe
territory in the first half but had one end in a blocked field goal and
another on fourth down.

“The key thing was our defense bent in the first half but they held
them to three points,” Krause said. “They had the ball a lot. They
moved the ball up and down but they only got three points.”

“A couple more points,” Waynesville head coach Glen Burchfield said.
“We moved the ball, controlled the clock and held them to nine
offensive plays in the first half. We just didn’t capaitolize. We still
had momentum at halftime, but they made a couple of adjustments and we
didn’t tackle.”

Waynesville was led by sophomore running back Seth Millar who had 91
yards on 27 carries. Millar had a 75-yard kickoff return for a TD and
recovered a fumble. Sophomore quarterback Cory Young completed 17-of-36
passes for 209 yards and a TD. Senior receiver Frank Haer caught 10
passes for 134 yards.

The Spartans are still in good position to earn their first playoff
berth since 1999. Waynesville, which has finished ninth in Division V,
Region 20 the last two years, was fourth entering Friday. A win over
Madison next week would likely seal a ticket.

Monroe definitely enhanced its postseason chances. Had the Hornets
lost, their bid for a third straight playoff berth would have been
over. Monroe was ninth in D-III, Region 12 heading in.

“We still don’t know what’s going to happen with the playoff
picture,” Krause said. “We put ourselves in a hole early losing to
Jonathan Alder and Valley View and we’re trying to climb out of it.
Hopefully we’re lucky enough to do that.”

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