Comets hope to go out strong
Coaches and players in the Central Crossing High School football program refer to this simply as "Westland week."
The Comets play host to Westland on Friday, Nov. 1, in what has become a season-ending tradition for both programs.
"Westland week is always a big week," senior wide receiver Michael Traversa said. "(Getting a victory) would definitely be a big way to end the season. If we're going to go out, we're going to go out strong and leave the program better."
In what has been a disappointing season for both teams, each will look to end on a positive note.
Both teams are 1-8 overall and 0-6 in the OCC-Central Division, and both have lost six consecutive games.
Last season, Central Crossing defeated Westland 34-14 to take a 4-0 lead in the series.
"It's not a vicious rivalry or anything like that," coach Chris Harr said. "These kids went to middle school together. They know each other. They see each other when they play baseball together. It's always nice to compete against people you know and we hope to continue our tradition of ending the year on a win."
Quarterback Luke Duncan has completed 144 of 255 passes for 1,468 yards with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions and rushed for 544 yards and six touchdowns on 144 carries. Wide receiver Noah Stephens has 53 catches for 606 yards and five touchdowns, and Traversa has 47 receptions for 669 yards and two touchdowns.
"They have a good system offensively," Westland coach Steve White said of the Comets' spread offense. "This is the second year they've been running it, so they've had a chance to fine-tune some stuff. They do look a lot better on offense and they have some great size up front that we're going to have to contend with. We don't have as much size as they do, so that will be a challenge for us."
Westland lost to Upper Arlington 69-0 on Oct. 25 and has been outscored 468-85. Sophomore Clay Carrel has emerged as the starting quarterback and, in six games, has rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown on 70 carries and completed 12 of 27 passes for 66 yards with an interception.
"It is kind of pressuring, but it will be great competition," Carrel said of playing Central Crossing. "I'm looking forward to it. They have been putting points up on some teams that we've had a little bit of difficulty with."
Wide receiver Reggie Gilliam has 18 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns for Westland, and wide receiver Dominick Thomas has 22 catches for 219 yards and a touchdown.
"For us, it's the one game we get to play against a (school) district opponent," White said. "A lot of our kids know kids from Central Crossing and they played against each other since middle school. It's always fun to play intra-district schools."
Grove City still in playoff chase
Grove City enters its game Friday, Nov. 1, at Pickerington North looking to keep its Division I, Region 2 postseason hopes alive.
The Dawgs were projected to be 23rd in this week's computer ratings, seven spots from the final playoff berth, but they hadn't been mathematically eliminated.
Grove City is 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the OCC-Ohio, and has won two consecutive games.
North is 9-0 overall and leads the league at 6-0.
"Things have to work out our way, but the most important thing, obviously, is get ready to take care of a very good Pickerington North team," coach Matt Jordan said.
Last season, Grove City defeated the Panthers 13-10 in the regular-season finale. North went on to finish 12-2, losing to Cincinnati Moeller 26-21 in a state semifinal.
Grove City quarterback Cameron Meece has completed 49 of 90 passes for 587 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions and rushed for 761 yards and nine touchdowns on 140 carries.
Running back Corey Williams has rushed for 685 yards and eight touchdowns on 99 carries, and wide receiver Paul Saunders has 13 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown.
North quarterback Zeph Miller has completed 101 of 171 passes for 1,575 yards with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and rushed for a team-high 685 yards and 14 touchdowns on 90 carries.
Wide receiver Jaye Williams has 29 catches for 381 yards and two touchdowns.
"They're very good and they have that Zeph Miller at quarterback," Jordan said. "They have some players. This is the second year in a row they're going to be 9-0 going into week 10. That's impressive within itself."