Ken Meibers took over the Monroe football program last year and the Hornets missed the playoffs for the first time in three years.
This year, Monroe is back on track downing Dayton Chaminade Julienne 12-7 Friday in the Division III, Region 12 Quarterfinals.
DAYTON – Monroe head coach Ken Meibers is used to winning
playoff games – only not like this.
The former Colerain offensive coordinator reached the
regional finals in 2007 with the Cincinnati area power but Friday’s 12-7 win
over Dayton Chaminade Julienne in the Division III, Region 12 Quarterfinals at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium was
his first as a head coach.
“There is a whole lot more pressure, I know that much,” the
second-year head coach said. “It’s very similar. It’s high school kids battling
it out, it’s great coaching staffs on both sides of the ball and it just all
come down to execution.
“Our kids have worked and I am
happy for our coaches, especially the defensive coaches. These guys coached
their butts off all week and they have kept us in a lot of games.”
Trailing 7-6 early in the fourth quarter, six-seeded Monroe
strayed from the triple-option attack and went to the air for a 38-yard
touchdown from junior quarterback David Routson to junior receiver Travis
The two-point conversion attempt failed but Routson’s only
completion of the night was enough to give Monroe the lead for good.
“The wind kind of took it. It was kind of a bad ball and it
stayed up there but Travis made the catch,” said Routson, who tallied 29 yards
rushing on 20 carries. “We played hard and we did what we had to do. We had some
setbacks but those big plays it what helped us out.”
Big plays that included a school record 50-yard Zach Eckert
field goal in the first quarter, holding CJ to 4-of-13 on third down conversions
and 0-for-2 on fourth down and a key interception on CJ’s last possession late
in the game.
CJ’s Ahmad Mack fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half to give
Monroe good field position and got a 26-yard field goal from Eckert to
cut the lead to 7-6 as the Eagles found the end zone only once in the game.
“Hats off to our defense for another second half shutout,”
Meibers said. “Our defensive kids and defensive coaches put defensive plans
together weekly and they just went out and executed. I am just really proud of
our kids and our coaches.
“Survive and advance – we’ll take it any way it comes.”
Junior fullback Devin King led all rushers with 47 yards on
18 carries for Monroe (9-2) as the Hornets tallied a modest 153 yards of total
For CJ (8-3), junior running back Aaron Stokes had 36 yards
rushing on 16 carries and the lone touchdown for the Eagles on an 8-yard run in
the second quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Simpson was 9-of-19 passing for 91 yards and two interceptions.
It was the first postseason berth for three-seeded CJ under
head coach Any Helms, who took over in 2006.
“We’ll have better days down the road, that’s for sure,” Helms said. “I am just proud of our kids. We had a solid football year where we got back to the playoffs and got people excited about Chaminade football again. Chaminade Julienne football has a bright future.”
Monroe missed the playoffs last season for the first time
in three years as Meibers brought his offensive philosophy from Colerain to a
program that traditionally ran a spread offense.
“The kids have done a great job. We went through some bumps
and bruises last year and some growing pains and I probably underestimated
myself as a coach and how hard it was going to be to make that transition,” said
Meibers. “But in year two we’re seeing results. The kids understand what we’re
trying to do and that really helps us out when the kids understand the concept.”
Monroe will take on Cincinnati Wyoming Friday Nov. 13 at a site to be determined for a shot
at the regional finals. Wyoming edged Eaton 34-32 Friday night.
“We’re a little bit banged up and we’re going to need to
heal,” Meibers said. “We’ll need to have another good week of practice and put
this one behind us.”