The Groveport High School football team opened the 2010 season with a 19-10 win over Westerville South on Saturday in a game that was part of the Spielman Gridiron Classic series.

The Groveport High School football team opened the 2010 season with a 19-10 win over Westerville South on Saturday in a game that was part of the Spielman Gridiron Classic series.

Cruiser quarterback Shane Denny scored on two short touchdown runs to help Groveport rebound from an early deficit.

"South is traditionally one of the better teams in the state," Groveport coach Tim Brown said. "For us to be able to get this win, it's important. Our league is a bear and we won't have very many easy games this season."

Groveport got it done on the ground, out-performing South and tailback Jayshon Jackson. The Cruisers finished with 224 yards rushing, led by Melvin Smith, who had 167 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

Jackson finished with 169 yards rushing but did not score.

Perhaps most important for the young Groveport lineup was that it recovered quickly after allowing South 10 points on its first two possessions. South was held scoreless the rest of the game, including three empty trips inside the 20-yard line.

"The kids didn't lose their cool," Brown said. "The coaches made a few adjustments and the kids executed on the field."

Though his passing numbers were modest (6-for-16, 50 yards), Denny was able to handle a fast and aggressive South defense. Groveport won the turnover battle (4:1) and was 9 of 16 on third and fourth downs.

"He did a nice job of keeping everything under control," Brown said. "We had to take the run and his leadership was outstanding."

For South, the night was a story of missed opportunities. Sophomore quarterback Marcus Ball (17-for-28, 169 yards, 2 interceptions) found Josh Llaneza for a 46-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the game. But from that point it seemed to be a series of near-misses.

Turnovers, empty red zone trips and seven penalties are not the way head coach Rocky Pentello hoped to begin the season.

"I don't think our execution was what is should be," Pentello said. "We ran into a big, tough, fast team that's doing what they do a little better than we're doing what we do right now. We're going to be making a lot of adjustments."

WESTERVILLE SOUTH 10 0 0 0 -- 10

GROVEPORT 7 6 0 6 -- 19

WS--Llaneza 46 pass from Ball (Foster kick)

G--Denny 1 run (Kalb kick)

WS--Foster 37 FG

G--Smith 5 run (run failed)

G--Denny 1 run (run failed)