During the postgame huddle following a 28-19, season-opening loss Aug. 30 at Hilliard Davidson, Grove City High School football coach Matt Jordan had a simple message for his team.
Jordan told his players that if they eliminate their mistakes, they can have a successful season.
“We’ll get back to work and process this a little bit,” said Jordan, whose team plays host to Findlay on Friday, Sept. 6. “We’ll get these guys ready to go. We’ll be fine.”
For the Dawgs against Davidson, senior quarterback Cameron Meece rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries, including scoring runs of 76 and 53 yards.
Grove City committed two turnovers and had a punt blocked, leading to two Davidson touchdowns.
The Dawgs had a 241-209 advantage in rushing yards.
Grove City trailed 21-0 in the second quarter before rallying to cut the deficit to 21-19 with 3 minutes, 3 seconds left in the game after Meece scored on a 1-yard run. Meece, however, was stopped on the two-point conversion attempt.
Findlay defeated Whitehouse Anthony Wayne 31-14 in its opener Aug. 30.
Senior Austin Gutting (6-foot-3, 253 pounds), a running back and defensive lineman, rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries. He added a touchdown reception and recovered a fumble that led to another score.
Junior quarterback Brandon Muehl completed 16 of 27 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns, and junior wide receiver Grant Niswander caught nine passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
The Trojans return five starters and 10 letterwinners from a team that finished 8-2 last season.
Findlay last reached the postseason in 2011, losing to Hudson 35-28 in overtime in the first round in Division I.
“Findlay is a spread team,” Jordan said. “I know we’ll have our hands full (this) week, too.”
The teams last met in 1999 in a Division I regional semifinal, with the Dawgs winning 59-41. Grove City lost to Worthington Kilbourne 21-7 in the final.
That Findlay team included quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who went on to play at Miami University and has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004.