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Monroe Central’s Joey Ullom straight arms a South Adams defender in Friday’s big win over South Adams.

Monroe Central blanks top-ranked South Adams

Class 1A No. 4 Monroe Central handed Class 1A No. 3 South Adams its first loss of the season, as the host Golden Bears earn a 23-0 shutout victory in Parker City to move to 5-0 on the season.

It was the Bears first win in seven attempts all-time against the highly-regarded Starfires, who lost for the first time in regular season since Sept. 28, 2018 when the dropped a 15-14 decision at Jay County.

“It was a liberating win for our program,” said Bears’ coach John Hochstetler, noting the past troubles defeating teams from Adams County. “But this is just one. We’ve got to keep growing. South Adams was Week 5 and we’re getting ready for Week 6 against Wes-Del. We’ve got to keep grinding.”

The game was a defensive struggle for the first two quarters, with Monroe Central clinging to a 7-0 halftime lead thanks to a 90-yard pick-six by Gavin Smithson-Burciaga.

The Golden Bears went 71 yards in eight plays on their first drive of the third quarter, ending in a 19-yard touchdown run by Josiah Ullom.

Monroe Central scored 10 more points in the fourth quarter. Elijah “Kicking Bear” Taylor knocked in a 22-yard field goal, and Joel Kennedy put the icing on top with a two-yard touchdown run with 8:23 left in the final period.

Smithson-Burciaga added a sack to go with his interception return for a touchdown, while Jackson Ullom and Kennedy also had interceptions for the Monroe Central stout defense.

Kennedy had 17 rushing attempts for 113 yards and a score, while Josiah Ullom had six rushing attempts for 48 yards and a touchdown.

The Golden Bears limited a talented South Adams offense to convert just 2-of-12 attempts on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth downs.

South Adams had just 140 total yards of offense in all, including minus-18 yards rushing.

The Bears have been no slouch at home under Hochstetler, now with 162 coaching wins and 75-33 at Monroe Central. The Bears have won 25 of their past 27 home games and eight in a row since losing to South Adams 34-15 on Sept. 20, 2019.

The win is sure to shake up the Class A rankings and move the Bears up a spot or two from their No. 4 ranking.

Next up for the Bears is Friday when they host Wes-Del in the annual Harvest Helmet Classic.

Game summary

South Adams 0 0 0 0 0

Monroe Central 7 0 6 10 23

GOLDEN BEARS (5-0)

RUSHING – Ja. Ullom 12-19; Jones 1-6; Jo. Ullom 6-48; Smithson-Burciaga 1-0; Je. Ullom 1-1; Keendy 7-113. Totals 38-187.

PASSING. Ja. Ullom 9 for 113 (1 int).

RECEIVING – Jones 4-30; Ho. Ullom 2-15; G. Smithson-Burciaga 2-41; Kennedy 1-3. Totals 9-89.

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