Two turnovers and defensive struggles in the second half were major factors in the Hartley High School football team seeing its 22-game regular-season winning streak end Sept. 6.
It hasn't all been smooth for the Hawks' next opponent, but visiting Marion-Franklin will bring a 2-0 record into the first meeting between the programs Friday, Sept. 13.
The Hawks are 1-1 after losing to defending Division V state champion Coldwater 41-16 in their home opener.
"(Hartley is) a great team," Marion-Franklin coach Brian Haffele said.
"It's another non-league game for us and we know they're going to be a great challenge and that we're going to have to play a great game."
Marion-Franklin lost one of its key players, junior running back and linebacker Alijahwon Tarvin, to a broken leg in the second quarter of a 27-2 win over Brookhaven on Sept. 6.
Also troubling for the Red Devils is that they committed 18 penalties.
Hartley was a Division IV state semifinalist while Marion-Franklin earned a regional runner-up finish in Division II a year ago.
After the Hawks opened with a 38-6 win over Amanda-Clearcreek on Aug. 30, they led Coldwater 16-13 at halftime but gave up four second-half touchdowns.
One of the scoring drives went 79 yards on 16 plays and took 5 minutes, 31 seconds.
Hartley senior quarterback Jared Brandewie has completed 21 of 29 passes for 442 yards with five touchdowns this season, but he was intercepted twice in the second half by Coldwater.
Senior running back Sam Mackowiak has rushed for 308 yards and three touchdowns, including 158 yards and one score last week.
Senior Alonzo Saxton hasn't seen much action on offense after missing the preseason with an injury, but he had 2.5 tackles at defensive back against Coldwater.
Marion-Franklin senior Jhulyis Monroe (RB/DB) rushed for 128 yards and one touchdown and had an interception against Brookhaven.
The Red Devils allowed just 109 yards of offense.
"Football is such an opposition-specific game," Hawks coach Brad Burchfield said. "Coldwater and Amanda-Clearcreek couldn't be any different and Marion-Franklin will be different than both of them. We feel good about our football team overall, but the challenge is that the teams are going to be varied. Coldwater runs the ball but their quarterback can take off. Marion-Franklin will be a different type of team.
"We've got experience and good size and we feel like our linebackers have good speed and are physical kids."
Franz back to lead runners
Junior Emily Franz again is leading the cross country program after finishing 28th (19 minutes, 17.65 seconds) in the Division II state meet a year ago.
On Aug. 31 in the Circleville Kiwanis Invitational, Franz ran 19:57.1 to win the girls race. She was third (19:52.7) in the Newark Catholic Invitational on Aug. 24 at Bryn Du Mansion.
"Emily Franz's season is starting off well," coach Julie Fix said. "We have a lot of new talent on our ladies team, from freshmen to seniors."
Other key girls runners are seniors Madeline Menzie, Katie Owens, Katelyn Supelak and Alexa Williams, junior Veronica Burk, sophomores Jillian Rhodes and Lindsay Rovito and freshman Alison Sommer.
Junior Brandt Groene is the No. 1 runner for the boys team. Other key boys have been seniors Patrick Keefe, Patrick Moran, Grant Rathburn and Brandon Woods, junior Dominic Evans, sophomores Josh Heinmiller, Nate Jula and Cameron Morello and freshmen John Babeaux and Michael Smith.
"We have lots of young talent on the guys team," Fix said. "We have a good pack of strong runners. I am excited to see them grow as individual runners and as a team."
Girls soccer team learning lessons
With an inexperienced roster and a tough schedule to begin the season, the girls soccer team was 0-3-4 before playing Watkins Memorial on Sept. 10.
The Hawks lost 5-0 on Sept. 3 to Worthington Christian, which they beat 3-0 a year ago.
"We've played against good teams and good players," coach Scott Dempsey said.
"Ironically, the kids are playing hard. They haven't quit. We've been down significantly and they haven't quit."
Hartley tied Reynoldsburg at 2 on Aug. 20, played Bexley to a scoreless tie on Aug. 24, tied Bloom-Carroll at 3 on Aug. 27 and tied Chillicothe Unioto at 1 on Sept. 7.
Junior forward McKenna Welsh and junior midfielder Kiersten Boyd have been among the top offensive players for the Hawks.
"They're going to keep learning and fighting," Dempsey said. "Collectively I think they're trying, and that's how you succeed as a team."