The Hartley High School football team lost the CCL-Gold Division game to Ready 52-6 last Friday to finish the regular season 7-3 overall, but the Hawks still have more games to play.

The Hartley High School football team lost the CCL-Gold Division game to Ready 52-6 last Friday to finish the regular season 7-3 overall, but the Hawks still have more games to play.

They qualified to the Division IV, Region 15 playoffs as the eighth seed and will play at No. 1 Martins Ferry on Friday. The Purple Riders are 9-1 after beating Bellaire 41-6 last Friday. Their loss was to Rayland Buckeye Local 21-14 in the opener Aug. 22.

"They're very fast and very physical. They've got a good tradition and it's really tough to find a weak point in them," coach Brad Burchfield said. "We're going to have to play our best football."

Leading Martins Ferry is Jeremy Murray, a dual-threat quarterback. Hartley has faced similar quarterbacks in Bexley's Seth White and New Lexington's Clint Cannon. Murray leads an offense that uses multiple formations and averages 36 points per game.

Martins Ferry runs a 4-4 defense that will be among the toughest the Hawks have faced. The Purple Riders have allowed 29 points in their last four games combined.

The Hartley offense will need consistent production from running backs Malik McCord, Geoffrey Whiteside and Noah Key as well as quarterback Austin Underwood.

"Our kids understand to be competitive with Martins Ferry, they have to play their best football to win," Burchfield said.

Burchfield added that the Hawks will learn from last Friday and not let the loss affect them negatively.

"When you have a game like that, you just have to flush it," he said. "The blessing of the thing is that we still got in the playoffs so that game against Ready won't define us. I think everything went wrong in that game. We turned the ball over and gave up big plays. But we'll be better because of it."

•The season ended for the girls cross country team last Saturday in the Division II regional at Troy as the Hawks finished 16th (404 points) behind state-qualifiers Kettering Alter (52), West Milton Milton-Union (66), Springfield Northwestern (122) and Brookville (138).

Theresa Laughlin was 63rd (21 minutes, 40 seconds), followed by Taisha Ferguson (92nd, 22:46), Karlenna Lombardi (103rd, 22:58), Erin Ranney (105th, 23:05), Joanna Lombardi (107th, 23:12), Madeline Smith (118th, 24:17) and Mariel Huddy (121st, 25:52).

"That was not our best performance of the year, that's for sure," coach Kevin Ryan said. "We came in with an understanding that we were underdogs. We felt if we could put together our best race that there was an opportunity for us to score well but to finish 16th was not what we had in mind."

The Hawks finished third (94) behind Bexley (66) at district Oct. 18 and were first (61) in the CCL meet Oct. 11 ahead of DeSales (66), Columbus School for Girls (67), Watterson (76), Ready (80) and Worthington Christian (164).

"The primary goal for us every year is to make it to regional," Ryan said. "We accomplished something big at the league meet and made it to regional so we're happy with how those things panned out."

Hartley will lose seniors Ranney, Joanna Lombardi and Elizabeth Palmieri. The top expected returnees include juniors Ferguson and Laughlin, sophomore Karlenna Lombardi and freshman Smith.

The boys team's season ended Oct. 11 at the Division II district meet at Watkins Memorial where the Hawks finished sixth (131) behind champion Canal Winchester (77).

"I don't want to emphasize the negatives, but it was disappointing," Ryan said. "We went into the district meet knowing we could finish as poorly as fifth or sixth but also believing we had an opportunity to win. To come out sixth was very disappointing. We had a good week of practice leading up to the race but when the gun went off, we just got into a funk that we never got out of."

At the league meet, Hartley was fourth (104) behind St. Charles (34), Watterson (58) and DeSales (75) and ahead of Ready (110) and Worthington Christian (147).

The Hawks will lose seniors Nathan Fox, Matt Hoelker and Alex Bloch. The top expected returnees include juniors Morgan Tomson, Chris Zuccarelli and sophomores Eddie Held and Conner Callahan.

•The top-seeded girls volleyball team beat seventh-seeded DeSales 25-22, 25-15, 25-21 in a Division II district final last Saturday to improve to 20-5 and advance to a regional semifinal last Wednesday against Uhrichsville Claymont. The winner will play Big Walnut or Warsaw River View in a regional final Saturday at Newark.

Entering their semifinal, Big Walnut was 21-3 and River View was 21-4.

"To have a class like our seniors who have won a district championship every year in school is pretty special," coach Max Miller said. "Big Walnut has won eight of the last nine years so they're on top. They're the premier Division II team and we're trying to stay with them. I feel like if we continue to play at a consistent level, we could meet (Big Walnut) in a regional final."