The Hartley High School football team will go on its longest road trip of the regular season on Friday when it travels to Columbus Grove on Friday.

The Hartley High School football team will go on its longest road trip of the regular season on Friday when it travels to Columbus Grove on Friday.

New to the schedule this year, Columbus Grove will enter with a 2-3 record. The Bulldogs are coming off a 51-12 win over Spencerville, a team that Hartley will face in the ninth week of the season. Columbus Grove's wins have come over teams with a combined 1-9 record and the losses have been to teams with a combined 11-4 record.

"They're a tradition-rich football program and they've been a consistent playoff contender in northwest Ohio," coach Brad Burchfield said. "They play in a tough conference and there's a lot of good football from that area."

Columbus Grove features an offense similar to Hartley's. The Bulldogs run the ball a lot out of spread and wing-T formations. Led by Wade Heffner, Jacob Miller and Rayce Risser, Columbus Grove has averaged 162 yards rushing per game. Hartley linebackers Alex Heinmiller, Corey McSweeney and Jarrod Zang will lead a defense that has allowed an average of 11.8 points per contest.

The Bulldogs also run a similar defense to Hartley and they'll be faced will the difficult challenge of stopping the Hawks' top runners in Noah Key, Geoffrey Whiteside and Zang. Hartley averages 335 yards rushing per outing.

"Some people might think it's an advantage for us that they run similar schemes, but they know what options they have to counter what we'll do," Burchfield said. "They've got the answers to the problems we pose, and the same goes for us as well."

In a 59-14 win over Dayton Dunbar, the Hawks played without defensive back Omar Lane, who suffered a broken arm Sept. 18 during a 45-10 win over Louisville St. Thomas Aquina. Koel Smith replaced Lane and broke up a handful of passes and intercepted a pass that he returned 17 yards to the Dunbar 15-yard line to set up a McSweeney touchdown run in the second quarter.

"Omar was only out a week with his arm, so he'll be back this week," Burchfield said. "That doesn't necessarily mean Koel won't play. I thought he did a good job on Friday for his first time in there on varsity."

Burchfield was not concerned about the travel time.

"We've got a veteran club so the trip itself won't affect us at all," Burchfield said. "If it does affect us, then we don't deserve to do very good. We scrimmaged teams (far away), so if we lose because of that, then we don't deserve the opportunity to be a good team. It is a factor but, as always, our kids enjoy playing in a hostile environment."

•The boys golf team competed in the Division II sectional last Tuesday at the Granville Golf Club. The Hawks were paired with Granville, the favorite heading into the event, and Lakewood. The top three teams and the three lowest-scorers not on a qualifying team advanced to the district, which is Monday at River Greens in West Lafayette.

"One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to qualify to the district as a team," coach Mike Graham. "We've had a good run so far this season."

One of Graham's main concerns heading into the postseason was that the Hawks were too used to playing nine holes. The only 18-hole event in which Hartley competed was the CCL Preseason Tournament on Aug. 19.

"We need to get used to playing 18 holes again because we didn't go to too many invitationals," Graham said.

One thing the Hawks have had to deal with is the absence of Koel Smith, who has been one of Hartley's more consistent golfers. Smith still participates, but had missed nearly two weeks of practice after spending more time with the football team. He is a defensive back, who become a starter following an injury to Omar Lane on Sept. 18.

Hartley finished the regular season with a 10-7 record.

"The losses were to some very good teams like DeSales, Watterson and St. Charles. Those are very talented and deep teams," Graham said.

Hartley's Madison Brake (left) and Brooke Betts go up for a block Sept. 22 against Ready's Katie Leppert.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Hartley boys and girls cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:


Sept. 19 -- Boys: Finished fourth (126) behind champion Circleville (39) in Central Ohio Invitational; Girls: finished fifth (116) behind champion DeSales (49)

Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished fourth (92) behind champion Ironton (36) in Rio Grande Invitational; Girls: Finished third (116) as St. Marys (St. Marys, W. Va.) won (37)

Last Wednesday -- Competed in Fredericktown Invitational

Saturday -- Erin L. Nance Fall Distance Classic at London Country Club


Sept. 15 -- Lost to Ready 165-182

Sept. 17 -- Lost to Watterson 162-171

Last Tuesday -- Competed in Division II sectional at Granville


*Sept. 15 -- Lost to DeSales 3-0

Sept. 19 -- Lost to Chillicothe Zane Trace 2-0

*Sept. 22 -- Lost to Worthington Christian 3-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played Ready

Tuesday -- Home vs. Licking Heights

Of note: The Hawks were 3-4-5 overall and 0-2-2 in the CCL before last Tuesday.


*Sept. 15 -- Lost to DeSales 2-0

*Sept. 17 -- Tied Worthington Christian at 0

Sept. 19 -- Defeated Watkins Memorial 2-0

*Sept. 23 -- Lost to Ready 2-1

Last Saturday -- Lost to Bexley 1-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played Columbus School for Girls

Saturday -- Home vs. Peebles

Monday -- At Springfield Catholic Central

Tuesday -- At Zanesville Rosecrans

Of note: The Hawks were 4-4-1 overall and 0-3 in the CCL before last Tuesday.


*Sept. 15 -- Lost to DeSales 3-2

Sept. 17 -- Def. Groveport 4-1

*Sept. 22 -- Def. Ready 5-0

Last Monday -- Def. Grandview 5-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played Worthington Christian

Of note: The Hawks were 8-3 overall and 1-2 in the CCL before last Tuesday.


*Sept. 15 -- Def. Columbus School for Girls 25-13, 25-7, 25-7

*Sept. 17 -- Def. DeSales 25-11, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23

Sept. 19 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 25-12, 25-17; def. Pickerington North 18-25, 25-21, 25-16

*Sept. 22 -- Lost to Ready 26-24, 25-23, 25-23

*Sept. 24 -- Def. Watterson 25-20, 25-20, 25-20

Last Saturday -- Lost to Parma Padua Franciscan 25-17, 25-22, 25-18

*Last Tuesday -- Played Worthington Christian

Last Wednesday -- Played Springfield

*Today -- Home vs. CSG

Saturday -- At Warsaw River View

*Tuesday -- At DeSales

Of note: The Hawks were 11-4 overall and 5-1 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

*CCL contest