When the Canal Winchester High School football team plays host to Bloom-Carroll in a MSL-Buckeye Division game on Friday, Sept. 28, it will see a familiar face on the opposite sideline.
Phil Mauro, who led Indians to a 36-9 record, two MSL-Buckeye titles and four playoff appearances from 2007-10, now coaches Bloom-Carroll after coaching Trenton Edgewood last year. He stepped down as coach of the Indians after the 2010 season when he was informed that his teaching position might be eliminated for the 2011-12 school year because of budget cuts.
Canal Winchester defeated Bloom-Carroll 42-7 a year ago.
"I love coach Mauro because he's a great guy and a great coach," said senior right tackle and defensive lineman Zach Morehead, who was a starter under Mauro as a sophomore. "There's been a lot of hype about him coming back here to coach against us, but I don't want us to get caught up in the hype. This is already a big game because it's Bloom-Carroll, but really it's just another game we need to win to reach our goal of winning our league."
The Indians are coming off a dramatic win, as they beat Amanda-Clearcreek 24-21 in four overtimes on Sept. 21 to improve to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the MSL-Buckeye. That same night, Bloom-Carroll lost to Fairfield Union 32-31 in double overtime to fall to 2-3 and 0-2.
Noah Ising kicked three field goals against Amanda-Clearcreek, including the game-winner from 20 yards.
The game was tied at 6 at the end of regulation. The Indians and Aces traded touchdowns in the first overtime and traded touchdowns with two-point conversions in the third overtime. Neither team scored in the second overtime.
Running back Jaquan Ransome rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns, scoring on a 4-yard run in the first overtime and on a 20-yard run in the third overtime. Ransome also ran for the two-point conversion in the third overtime.
"The whole game was extremely exciting," said senior nose tackle Deontaye Cosby, who forced a fumble at the Indians' 2-yard line to end Amanda-Clearcreek's possession in the fourth overtime. "We swarmed to the ball well all game and we made big plays when we needed to."
Against Fairfield Union, Bloom-Carroll quarterback Levi Fetherolf was 13-for-18 passing for 204 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He connected with running back Kallob Watts on a 27-yard touchdown pass and running back Sam Fratturo on a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Fratturo rushed for 62 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown, on 19 carries, and wide receiver Justin Meadows had six catches for 50 yards.
Leading the Indians' defense against Amanda-Clearcreek were Cosby (18 tackles, 1 sack) and linebackers Nick Toledo (8 tackles) and Lamont Martin (8 tackles).
"Defensively, we need to win the game up front on the line of scrimmage," Morehead said.
The Indians are looking to get their offense back on track after turning the ball over four times against Amanda-Clearcreek.
Through five games, quarterback Isaac Pifer has completed 21 of 47 passes for 359 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back John Franklin has rushed for 284 yards and two touchdowns on 56 carries and Ransome has rushed for 281 yards and five touchdowns on 56 carries.
Wide receiver Skylar Scott has a team-high 13 catches for 318 yards and three touchdowns.
"We need to establish our running game because when we're successful running the ball, we can spread out and use a variety of formations and plays," Morehead said.
Tennis team places second in league
The girls tennis team finished second in the final MSL-Buckeye standings with 31 points and a 4-1 record in league dual matches. League play concluded Sept. 22 with the MSL-Buckeye tournament at Teays Valley.
Logan Elm (42, 5-0) won the MSL-Buckeye championship. Circleville (24, 3-2) finished third, followed by Hamilton Township (11, 2-3), Teays Valley (9, 1-4) and Bloom-Carroll (8, 0-5).
"We were hoping we might catch Logan Elm for first place by playing better than them in the tournament, but they had a great tournament," coach Jason Moisey said. "Circleville was only two points behind us going into the tournament, so I'm glad we were able to hold them off for second place."
In the league tournament, sophomore Madeline Niceswanger went 2-0 at first singles, beating Logan Elm's Kari Willard 10-2 in the final to be named MSL-Buckeye Player of the Year.
Alex Jackson went 1-1 and placed second at second singles and also was first-team all-league. Caitlyn Woodward and Emily Cupp went 3-0 to place first at second doubles and were honorable mention all-league, and Allison Haug and Samantha Haug went 0-1 at first doubles but still placed third and were second-team all-league.
Taylor Ramsey went 1-1 at third singles and finished fourth.
"Madeline was excited about winning first singles in this tournament again," Moisey said. "Our second doubles players were not seeded and they won, so hats off to them. I'm happy with how we played overall."