What a difference a week -- or two -- can make.
After being shut out in consecutive weeks, the Grandview Heights High School football team took out its frustrations on Madison Plains.
The Bobcats totaled 533 yards, including 356 rushing, in a 41-12 win over the host Golden Eagles in an MSL-Ohio Division game Oct. 25.
Grandview, which improved to 3-6 overall, plays its season finale Friday, Nov. 1, at Swanton.
"I think going though the tough losses we had in the previous couple of weeks brought us closer and everything started to click," senior running back and defensive lineman Phil Readey said of a 36-0 loss to Whitehall on Oct. 11 and a 50-0 loss to West Jefferson on Oct. 18. "We have had a rough past couple of games, so it felt good to get this one under our belts. It felt good to bounce back like that."
Joe Pinney rushed for 215 yards on 19 carries, and the junior running back also threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Andre Readey. Sophomore running back Rhodes Jump ran for 103 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries and caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Nick Schopis.
Schopis rushed for a 1-yard touchdown and threw for 112 yards, including a second touchdown of 53 yards to senior tight end Tim Murphy.
"In practice last week, we really started to communicate well," senior offensive lineman Sam Callison said. "(Madison Plains' defense) had two players outside the guards instead of someone over the center and that gave us something different to work on. That made communication that much more important and I think that helped us."
Freshman defensive back Joey Landusky also returned an interception 17 yards for a score.
The Bobcats will travel to northwest Ohio to play Swanton, which fell to 2-7 after losing to Bryan 63-0 on Oct. 25.
"We watched some film on (the Bulldogs) and they look like they are big, but we can handle them up front," Callison said.
Bobcats send three runners to state meet
Senior Luke Evans won the boys race in the Division III regional cross country meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North and will join two other Grandview runners in the state meet Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway.
Evans finished first in 16 minutes, 21.64 seconds, ahead of runner-up Jon Anderson (16:29.43) of Beverly Fort Frye, and junior Eli Reed finished 15th (17:07.57) to also advance for Grandview.
The top four teams and top 16 individuals in both the boys and girls races qualified for state.
For the girls team, junior Ali Lachey advanced by finishing seventh (19:48.91).
Evans said he was a bit apprehensive before running his third regional race.
"I always have kind of a fear coming into this meet because the stakes are so high," said Evans, who joined Reed as the only regional competitors for the boys team. "Each week, the stakes are ramped up more, but it's good to make it back to state."
"Luke was stride-for-stride (with Anderson) with 400 or 500 meters left and made his move," coach Brian Schoch said. "He's running so strongly right now and to win a regional is really something. It's a big meet to win."
Reed was pleased with his performance.
"I was 13th until the last mile and I held on when it got crazy at the end," he said. "Working with only Luke (last) week was good. We pushed each other, and I know it definitely helped me."
In the girls race, Grandview was fifth (136) behind state-qualifiers Sugarcreek Garaway (68), Columbus Academy (112), Mount Gilead (112) and Columbus School for Girls (113).
"The girls ran a really, really good regional race," Schoch said. "We were fourth last year (at regional) and maybe this team was better, but didn't make it out. That shows how tough the field was."
Also competing were junior Madison Osborne (29th, 21:03.61), senior Halli Bair (38th, 21:21.15), junior Emma Hecker (40th, 21:28.77), junior Emma Mihocik (62nd, 22:15.17), sophomore Emma Wheeler (66th, 22:24.5) and freshman Emma Berlin (71st, 22:53.16).
"I was able to advance, but I feel like I should have finished better," Lachey said. "It's good to make it back to state. Knowing the course always helps and I hope to do better."
Last season, Lachey was 46th (19:40.24) at state. Evans took 13th (16:10.92) to earn all-state honors with a top-25 finish and Reed placed 33rd (17:55.17).
Volleyball team wins seven matches
The girls volleyball team finished 7-14 overall after losing to second-seeded Fairbanks 25-10, 25-12, 25-10 on Oct. 19 in the second round of the Division III district tournament.
The 18th-seeded Bobcats won their opening-round match against 16th-seeded Africentric 25-10, 25-19, 25-8 on Oct. 16.
Grandview finished sixth (5-9) in the MSL-Ohio behind West Jefferson (14-0), London (11-3), Worthington Christian (9-5), Academy (8-6) and Bexley (6-8) and ahead of Madison Plains (3-11) and Whitehall (0-14).
Sophomore setter/outside hitter Libby Jump was second-team all-league and junior libero Emma Bulla was honorable mention.
Outside hitters Maddie Bills and Grace VanFossen were the only seniors.
"Maddie and Grace provided the mature, steadying influence that is so vital to team cohesion and success," said coach Ed Hine, who completed his first season. "Both of these players contributed much during their four-year Grandview volleyball careers, and next year's seniors will do well to emulate them, both on and off of the court."
Also expected back are juniors Mary Guida (middle hitter) Morgan Taylor (setter) and Allison Voelker (middle/outside hitter), sophomores Mya Bode (outside hitter) and Julia Muccio (defensive specialist) and freshman Dareth Douglass (middle hitter).
"Next year's team looks to be led by Libby Jump, Emma Bulla, Allison Voelker and Morgan Taylor," Hine said. "Those four should provide the nucleus for another season of solid defensive play, consistent setting and some improved front-row performance. Freshman Dareth Douglass gained valuable experience this season and is expected to be strong up front next season."
Boys soccer team falls to Warriors
The boys soccer team finished 15-4 after losing to third-seeded Worthington Christian 1-0 in a Division III district final Oct. 26 at Canal Winchester.
Senior goalkeeper Josh Keller had four saves for the second-seeded Bobcats.
Worthington Christian's Sam Condon scored with 9:45 left in the second half.
"We talked about (the Warriors) being a fast-striking team, and they got us," coach Brian Neidenthal said. "It wasn't a goalie mistake or anything like that. They are a good team and they got us in transition."
On Oct. 23, the Bobcats defeated 11th-seeded Madison Christian 6-0 in a district semifinal as junior forward Colin Jourdan scored twice. Senior midfielder Sam Claypool, senior defender Pat McHugh, junior forward Ryan McHugh and sophomore midfielder Callum McNamara all had one goal, and sophomore goalie Jannick Hiltrop had one save.
Grandview gave up one goal or fewer 17 times and allowed only 13 total goals.