Grandview Heights Roundup
Loss provides wake-up for football team
In five games since 2007, the Grandview Heights High School football team had beaten East Knox each time. But that changed Aug. 31.
The Bobcats had six turnovers and committed 10 penalties for 130 yards in a 30-13 home loss to the Bulldogs, breaking an 11-game regular-season winning streak.
Grandview will need to recover quickly for its final non-league game against Whitehall on Friday, Sept. 7. The game will be played at Reynoldsburg because of a construction project at Whitehall.
"We really have to execute better because we didn't play our best, losing five fumbles and having one interception," said Payton Jones, who rushed for 33 yards on seven carries and had five receptions for 39 yards against East Knox. "We really have to regroup and get back on track and execute. We need to do the little things needed to be successful."
Whitehall defeated Central Crossing 40-7 on Aug. 24 before losing to Bloom-Carroll 21-3 on Aug. 31.
Against Central Crossing, quarterback Cody Koons rushed eight times for 106 yards and running back B.J. Upchurch added 98 yards on 12 carries as the Rams had 379 total yards, 282 on the ground.
Against Bloom-Carroll, Whitehall had only 57 total yards, 35 rushing. Ifa Abduljelil kicked a 22-yard field goal.
Grandview lineman Chase Douglass believes the Bobcats need to do some soul searching to get back on track.
"We need more leadership and we seniors need to step up," said Douglass, whose team beat Whitehall 24-0 last season. "We still have plenty of time to get better and do great things.
"I think it's a wakeup call for everyone. Everyone has to work hard and give 100 percent on every play and in every drill."
Girls soccer team surging
Though five games, the girls soccer team was unbeaten and had outscored opponents 29-0.
Coach Mike Merna said a combination of both offense and defense led to the early success.
"We came into the season with one returning goal scored from last year," said Merna, referring to sophomore Morgan Ettrich's one career goal. "But through three games, we had 10 girls who had combined to score our 16 goals. Anna Davis did not have a goal coming into the season and now she leads us with five (through five games)."
The Bobcats beat Circleville 7-0 on Aug. 28 with seven players scoring one goal apiece. Finding the net were Emily Burns, Davis, Julie Menke, Grace Palmer, Haley Rees, Lindsey Smith and Kira Thomas. Goalkeeper Abby Riggs did not have a save, because the Tigers did not have any shots on goal.
"It's pretty easy to get a shutout when you hold your opponent without a shot," Merna said. "One of the things that made that possible was because we were on the attack much of the game. They say the best defense is a good offense and that seemed to be the case."
Rees and Taylor Woodhouse both scored twice in a 10-0 win over Licking Valley in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio Division opener Aug. 30. Burns, Davis, Ettrich, Katie Flanagan, Menke and Thomas all scored once. Backup goalkeeper Izzy Esber had one save.
Merna said aside from Riggs, defensive standouts have included senior sweeper Cristina Pinney and Woodhouse, who is in her first year starting at defender.
"I thought our defense was going to be one of our bright spots and it has been," said Merna, whose team played Heath on Sept. 4 in another league game. "We have done a good job of holding on to the ball and we have a lot of confidence right now."
The Bobcats defeated Chillicothe Zane Trace 3-0 on Sept. 1 in a non-league game. Davis, Ettrich and Flanagan scored and Riggs had eight saves.
"We'll have to see how we handle adversity because we haven't faced the Granvilles, the Bexleys or the (Columbus) Academys yet," Merna said. "Last year, we won a lot of games 1-0 or 2-0 that should have been 4-0 or 5-0 because we didn't finish. We have been finishing this year and we want that to continue."
The Bobcats play a non-league game Tuesday, Sept. 11, at home against Wellington. Grandview won 1-0 last season.