As fraternity brothers at Otterbein in 1991-92, it's unlikely that Darren Waters and Darby Riley envisioned what will take place Friday, Sept. 27.
Waters will take his Licking Heights High School football team to the visiting sideline to stand across from Riley's Northridge squad.
Riley, in his second season as coach of the Vikings, saw his team match last year's win total when Northridge won its first two games after going 2-8 in 2012.
The Vikings beat Millersport 42-0 on Aug. 30 and Fairfield Christian 41-20 on Sept. 6. They lost to Harvest Prep 34-12 on Sept. 13 and opened LCL play against Licking Valley on Sept. 20.
Riley was a standout at Newark Catholic before graduating in 1988 and is a 1992 Otterbein graduate. Waters graduated from Otterbein in 1994.
"Darby played on some great teams at Newark Catholic and also was a great player at Otterbein," Waters said. "He's from winning programs, and he'll get them going up there (at Northridge). He brings his playing background with him, so his teams will be disciplined and determined."
On offense, the Vikings are led by quarterback Bryant Garee, running back Jacob Burke and fullback Eric Dills. Burke rushed for 189 yards against Harvest Prep and also caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Garee.
Receivers include Tim Gearry, Chase Hess and Tanner Williamson. Zach Hossler anchors the line alongside A.J. Mooney and Brennan Angus.
On defense, Angus, Dills, Hossler and Mooney form the line, with Burke, Tanner Williamson and Chad Williamson at linebacker. Garee and Gearry are key players in the secondary.
The Hornets entered LCL play 3-0 after beating Groveport 7-0 on Sept. 13, as quarterback Curtis Richardson scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. Richardson has filled in for Adrian Myrthil, who was injured in the opener.
"We didn't move the ball well and we had four turnovers, so we have a lot of work to do offensively," Waters said. "I think we're going to be a two-headed monster at quarterback going forward. We're going to find the situations to use both during games. Regardless of that, we can't put the ball on the ground and expect to win in the LCL."
As unhappy as Waters was with the offense, he was pleased with the defense.
"I thought our defensive line was great," he said. "Cameron Claborn, Jacob Hopkins and Mike Hopewell all played maybe their best game so far and A.J. Velasquez had the best night of his career."
Junior Robbie Moore rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries against Groveport, as the Hornets continued to use numerous players in the backfield. Junior Kendall Bradley led the team through three games with 253 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries, and senior fullback John Neary had 201 yards on 40 rushes.
Girls soccer team slowed by injury
After winning its first game Sept. 3, the girls soccer team has taken some hits.
The Hornets lost to Briggs 3-2 on Sept. 5, and leading scorer Madison Dixon was injured during the game. The junior forward had scored all three goals in the 3-2 win over Teays Valley and also had scored against Briggs before suffering a knee injury.
Dixon returned Sept. 19 during a 4-1 loss to Lakewood, as the Hornets fell to 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the LCL.
She took her first shift back 10 minutes into the second half and scored within five minutes to pull Licking Heights within 2-1.
"It was great to get her back," coach Michelle Lisy said. "It's been tough the past few games without her ... but the girls continue to work hard and we keep trying to improve."
The Hornets lost to Johnstown 8-1 on Sept. 12, to Vincent Warren 10-0 on Sept. 14 and to Fisher Catholic 7-0 on Sept. 17.
Junior midfielder Amber Dunkle scored against Briggs and Johnstown.
Volleyball team's winning streak ends
The girls volleyball team had its four-match winning streak snapped with a 25-9, 25-18, 25-16 loss to Granville on Sept. 17.
After losing its first six matches, the Hornets strung together wins over Watkins Memorial (25-16, 25-13, 22-25, 25-21 on Sept. 5), Johnstown (29-27, 25-18, 25-14 on Sep. 10), Northridge (24-26, 20-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-12 on Sept. 12) and Utica (16-25, 26-24, 25-19, 18-25, 16-14 on Sept. 14).
The Hornets, who have played all league matches, were 4-8 after losing to Lakewood 25-15, 25-11, 25-16 on Sept. 19.
Golf team takes ninth in LCL tournament
The boys golf team shot a 386 to finish ninth in the LCL postseason tournament Sept. 19 at Blacklick Woods. Johnstown (321) won and was followed by Granville (329), Heath (347), Watkins Memorial (348), Lakewood (358), Newark Catholic (359), Utica (365), Northridge (370), the Hornets and Licking Valley (394).
John Kenney (89), Troy Hickman (92), Austin Pond (99), Kenneth Abarra (106), Justin Wand (106) and Nick Krantz (109) competed for the Hornets.
Licking Heights went 3-24 in the LCL to finish behind champion Johnstown (26-1).
Kenney was second-team all-league and Hickman was honorable mention.