Finding consistency on offense has been the biggest issue for the Beechcroft High School football team as it prepares for the third week of the season.
The Cougars were held to five yards in the first half and ended up losing 26-14 at Dublin Jerome on Sept. 6 to fall to 1-1.
They might not find moving the ball to be an easy proposition Friday, Sept. 13, either, considering their opponent.
Walnut Ridge, which is 1-1 and gave up a combined 23 points over its first two games, has been one of the City League-South Division's best defensive teams since Byron Mattox took over as coach in 2006.
Mattox had been an assistant at Beechcroft before that, including in 2001 when the Cougars beat the Scots 7-6 in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 playoffs in the last meeting between the programs.
"Obviously we've made some mistakes that we've got to get cleaned up," Beechcroft coach Bruce Ward said. "We've been known for being a passing team, and we've got to get back to completing some passes. We only scored seven points on offense (during a 14-0 win over Dayton Dunbar on Aug. 30). We've got to be a lot more efficient."
Beechcroft got a 72-yard touchdown run by Adonis Davis and a 67-yard scoring reception from Landers Cox in the third quarter against Jerome, but gave up 334 yards rushing.
Walnut Ridge bounced back from a 17-12 loss to Watterson on Aug. 30 to beat Groveport 28-6 on Sept. 6.
"This year we're big and we're physical," Mattox said. "We're going to ride our defense. (Beechcroft) is a game we've been trying to schedule for a couple years and it finally worked out this year."
Also looking to bounce back from offensive woes is Brookhaven, which lost 27-2 at Marion-Franklin on Sept. 6 to fall to 1-1. The Bearcats were held to 109 yards, had three turnovers and committed 13 penalties.
The biggest bright spot in the loss might have been the play of junior linebacker Takeyvion Simmons, who had an interception.
"We've got to find ways to score points and consistently complete passes," coach Trevor White.
Northland completes the non-league schedule Saturday, Sept. 14, at Cincinnati Taft. The Vikings beat Independence 20-18 in their opener Aug. 29 and had a bye last weekend.
Vikings volleyball team excited
With an inexperienced roster a year ago, the Northland girls volleyball team struggled to an 8-9 overall record after a four-year run in which it was the City League-North Division runner-up in 2008 and 2009, won the league championship in 2010 and was City runner-up in 2011.
The Vikings believe they are on track to take a step back toward the top in the City-North after going 8-6 in the league last season.
Entering a City-North match Sept. 10 against Whetstone, Northland was 3-1 overall and in the league.
"We graduated almost everybody in 2011 and last year we were basically all (new players), so they're basically all back," coach J. Sanchez said. "We don't really have a lot of height, but we're scrappy."
The top returnees are seniors Dulaney Kennedy (right-side hitter), Gabrielle Evans (outside hitter) and Amaria Stewart (setter).
Junior Carli Codner-Pinto is playing libero after transferring from DeSales.
Other key players are juniors Druianna Ford (right-side hitter), Kayla Hunter (outside hitter) and Simone Young (middle hitter) and freshman Taylor Pearson (middle hitter/setter).
Cougars volleyball team 'work in progress'
The Beechcroft girls volleyball team was 2-3 overall before playing Mount Gilead on Sept. 9 and 2-2 in the City-North before facing Brook-haven on Sept. 10.
Back for the Cougars are seniors Melvon Cannady (middle hitter/outside hitter), Jasmin Goforth (libero), Tivia Hylton (middle hitter) and Shanice Revis (middle hitter/outside hitter) and junior Ciearra Shuford (setter).
Also on the team are seniors Dale-Lyn Featherstone (front row), Kyesha Love (defensive specialist) and Justice Sheppard (utility) and freshman Niyana Norah (setter).
"We're working through some adjustments with changes in positions from last year and working in several new team members," coach Rita Hinz said. "They are beginning to work together better to make plays. It's a work in progress."
Bearcats volleyball team rebuilding
With little returning experience, the Brookhaven girls volleyball team was 0-5 overall before playing Africentric on Sept. 9 and 0-4 in the City-North before playing Beech-croft on Sept. 10.
"We're rebuilding this year," coach Tomeka Howell said. "We're piecing a team together. I'm trying to teach an offense, but it's going back to the basics a lot."
Seniors Rai'Vyn Hooker (outside hitter) and D'Ach'e Rankin (setter) and junior Lorraine Danglade (outside hitter) are the top returnees. Sophomore Kiara Fleming (outside hitter) also is contributing.