Although it is questionable whether some of its goals remain reachable after a 21-20 loss at Mifflin on Oct. 3, the Beechcroft High School football team does appear to have found its quarterback of the future -- as well as for the rest of this season.
During the second half against the Punchers, sophomore Mike Powers ran for 46 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown, and threw for a score.
He took over full time at quarterback during Beechcroft's 15-8 win over Whetstone on Sept. 20.
The Cougars had a 16-game City League-North Division winning streak snapped by Mifflin. They are 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the league as they prepare to play Friday, Oct. 11, at Columbus East.
"We knew Mike Powers was one of our better athletes and we always had the intention of having him be our quarterback," coach Bruce Ward. "He got hurt in week two and was out in week three, so we were trying to get him back healthy."
Beechcroft shared the City-North title with Northland in 2010 and won the league title outright each of the last two seasons. Mifflin snapped a 10-game losing skid against the Cougars and is 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the league.
Beechcroft was held to 13 yards in the first half against Mifflin before Powers and senior running back Adonis Davis helped it rally from a 21-6 deficit to nearly take the lead.
After Powers hit Darius Ford for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 7 minutes, 12 seconds left to make it 21-20, Mifflin stopped a two-point conversion run by Davis and held on for the win. Davis finished with 96 yards rushing.
According to Ward, Beechcroft played without three players on special teams against Mifflin, including senior kicker Babacar Ba, who played for the Cougars' boys soccer team in a game Oct. 3.
In addition, senior Landers Cox (WR/DB) was ejected for a late hit on Mifflin kicker Kwame Peprah on an extra-point attempt at the end of the first half. He will have to sit out the East game.
"We've just got to mature as a team," Ward said. "We've got to calm down, relax and execute."
Vikings girls soccer team breaks through
An infusion of young talent has helped the Northland girls soccer team take a big step forward this fall.
After going just 1-13 a year ago, the Vikings were 5-6-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the City-North before playing Beechcroft on Oct. 7.
Northland closed the regular season Oct. 8 at Caledonia River Valley and begins the Division I district tournament next week.
"We have so much skill on our team this year," coach Tori Moore said. "This team just works so well together. It's been a really great season."
Moore, who recently got engaged and might not return next season, is in her fourth year leading the program.
The Vikings got five goals from freshman forward Alejandra Montero in a 7-2 win over East on Oct. 2. They lost to Centennial 6-2 on Aug. 28 but came closer in the rematch, a 5-4 loss Oct. 1.
Sophomore forward Lucy Ndive and senior goalkeeper Miriam Avila have been other standouts, according to Moore.
Bearcats boys soccer team improving
The Brookhaven boys soccer team finally got its first non-loss when it played Johnstown to a scoreless tie Oct. 1. It then tied Beechcroft at 2 on Oct. 3.
The Bearcats were 0-10-2 overall and 0-9-1 in the City-North before playing Mifflin on Oct. 7.
"We're not getting blown out," coach Allen Iacobucci said. "It's probably the worst season we've ever been through, but we've got a heck of a lot of talent. We're just young. We have one senior, a pair of juniors and the rest are all freshmen and sophomores. I don't think they have that killer instinct yet."
Josiah Ingram (defender), Deepak Dhattarai (forward) and Dilly Dhattarai (sweeper/midfielder) have been among the standouts, according to Iaco-bucci.
Cougars re-start girls soccer team
Despite having only five players throughout most of the summer, the Beechcroft girls soccer program will end up playing nearly a full schedule.
Dan Zedeker led the program the last two seasons but elected to coach the Northland girls tennis team this fall because he was uncertain he'd have enough players for a girls soccer team.
Amy Kerns, the sister of Beechcroft softball coach Mandy Cox and a 2006 graduate of the school who played soccer in high school, took over the program in late August.
The Cougars finally had enough players for a team to open with a 6-3 loss to Northland on Sept. 12. They were 2-3 before playing Northland on Oct. 7.
"We only had about five kids this summer, and on the first day of school I tried to get kids to sign up," Kerns said. "It took quite a while.
"When I was a player, we only won two games in four years. I was joking with the girls that they've already beaten my record as a player."
Seniors Stephanie Ibarra (midfielder), Hilda Macauley (defender) and Josephine Asare (forward), junior Vania Opuko (midfielder) and sophomore Jasmine Ibarra (defender) helped get more players out for the team this fall, according to Kerns.
Also in the program are seniors Britanny Ernest (defender), Ke'Azia Mosely (forward), Elizabeth Ramos (defender), Odyssey Riley (forward), Taylor Spiller (midfielder) and Mary Stewart (forward), sophomores Dayzia Colflesh (midfielder), Faith Hay (forward/goalkeeper) and Tianna Strozier (midfielder) and freshman Melissa Guerrero (midfielder).
Football | Week 7
BEECHCROFT at COLUMBUS EAST
•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11
•Last meeting: 2012, Beechcroft 66-13
•Beechcroft (3-3 overall, 2-1 in City-North) to date: Defeated Dayton Dunbar 14-0; lost to Dublin Jerome 26-14; lost to Walnut Ridge 24-0; def. Whetstone 15-8; def. Linden-McKinley 81-8; lost to Mifflin 21-20
•East (1-5 overall, 0-3 in City-North) to date: Lost to Hamilton Township 48-6; def. Briggs 52-32; lost to Westland 28-12; lost to Mifflin 48-12; lost to Northland 64-20; lost to Whetstone 44-26
•Top Cougars: Adonis Davis (RB/LB), Darius Ford (WR/DB), Khalor Franklin (RB/LB), Rayshawn Norah (WR/DB) and Mike Powers (WR/DB)
•Top Tigers: Asa Burke (RB/DB), Nick Burke (TE/LB), James Curry (QB), Abul Dialo (RBN/DB) and Zay'on Mock (WR/DB)
CENTENNIAL at BROOKHAVEN
•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11
•Last meeting: 2012, Brookhaven 48-7
•Centennial (3-3 overall, 1-2 in City-North) to date: Def. Grandview 20-7; def. Franklin Heights 48-47; lost to Bexley 34-22; def. Linden 28-18; lost to Mifflin 53-21; lost to Northland 55-6
•Brookhaven (4-2 overall, 3-0 in City-North) to date: Def. Columbus West 49-20; lost to Marion-Franklin 27-2; lost to Central Crossing 10-7; def. Northland 29-28 (OT); def. Whetstone 46-24; def. Linden 33-0
•Top Stars: Jirequez Fair-Harris (TE/LB), Jeremy Johnson (QB/P), Kenny Lambert (OL/DL), Noah Martin (OL/DL), Tyler Patterson (WR) and Darsean Watts (RB/LB)
•Top Bearcats: Bruce Foster (QB/LB), Paul Hughes (TE/LB), Davonte Lewis (RB/LB), David Peoples (RB) and Takeyvion Simmons (RB/LB)
NORTHLAND at MIFFLIN
•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11
•Last meeting: 2012, Mifflin 13-6
•Northland (4-1 overall, 2-1 in City-North) to date: Def. Independence 20-18; def. Cincinnati Taft 36-30; lost to Brookhaven 29-28 (OT); def. East 64-20; def. Centennial 55-6
•Mifflin (4-2 overall, 3-0 in City-North) to date: Lost to Licking Heights 40-6; def. Westland 24-0; lost to Watkins Memorial 26-12; def. East 48-12; def. Centennial 53-21; def. Beechcroft 21-20
•Top Vikings: Jhustus Cornley (WR/DB), Nicholas Fischer (QB), Nateshawn Hargrove (RB/LB), Malcolm Marshall (WR/DB), Glenn Smith III (WR) and Abu Turay (RB/DB)
•Top Punchers: Marsaan Banks (QB), Montrese Frazier (WR), Michael Gause (OL/DL), Jakob Green (WR/DB) and Stanley Jackson (WR/DB)