The Reynoldsburg High School football team plans to use its remaining energy to put forth its best effort no matter the circumstances.

The Reynoldsburg High School football team plans to use its remaining energy to put forth its best effort no matter the circumstances.

Although the Raiders sit ninth in the Division I, Region 3 computer ratings and face a one-win team in the final week of the regular season, they know their chances are slim for getting into the top eight and making the playoffs for the second time.

Reynoldsburg is 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division, but it likely needs upsets by Marysville over Hilliard Davidson and winless Westerville North over Westerville South to have a chance at the postseason.

Still, for a program looking to become an area power under second-year coach Buddy White, there will be something to play for when the Raiders travel Friday, Oct. 26, to Groveport.

The Raiders have beaten Lancaster 27-20 on Oct. 12 and Newark 47-0 on Oct. 19 since losing to Pickerington North 49-27 on Oct. 5.

"It's not that we're playing that much better," White said. "It's just that we are that much better than the teams we've been playing. The hardest thing we've had to guard against is complacency. We were up on Lancaster 27-6 and ended up winning 27-20. We started making mistakes that we normally don't make."

Against Newark, senior Mykel Traylor-Bennett returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to begin the second half as the Raiders built a 33-0 lead. He later added a 59-yard punt return for a score.

It marked the second shutout this season for Reynoldsburg, with the other coming Sept. 7 at Westerville North (55-0).

The Raiders beat Groveport 41-0 a year ago.

"We had three interceptions and recovered a couple fumbles (against Newark)," White said. "We put our offense in great position all night. We blocked and tackled and just played hard. We never let them have a chance to be in the game. We were up 14-0 just like that, and the hardest part was guarding against complacency."

Ellis finishes season at state golf tourney

Sophomore Darnell Ellis will have a different mindset about the Division I state boys golf tournament next year if he advances for the second consecutive season.

"I guess I'm going to remember the course itself," Ellis said. "One thing about it is that the competition itself is not really that fierce. I was relatively in the middle of the pack."

Ellis, who is believed to be the first Raiders boys player to advance to state since 1990, shot 84 in the opening round Oct. 19 on Ohio State's Scarlet Course. He came back with an 81 the next day for a two-day 165 that tied him for 27th with four others.

Dublin Coffman's Nick Sparling was medalist with a 145, but Ellis would have made the top 10 if he'd shot eight strokes better.

"It was pretty fun being out there," Ellis said. "The weather kind of got me the first day. I think it played over 7,000 yards."

Ellis, who transferred to Reynoldsburg after competing for Columbus Academy as a freshman, was the only underclassman among the team's top five.

The Raiders finished fifth (9-15) in the OCC-Ohio behind Pickerington North (24-0), Lancaster (18-6), Gahanna (17-7) and Grove City (12-12) and ahead of Newark and Pickerington Central (2-22 each).

In the sectional tournament Oct. 2 at The Players Club at Foxfire, the Raiders were ninth (358) of 13 teams behind champion New Albany (298).

Ellis shot 82 and beat Westerville Central's Austin Kondratick and Westerville South's Justin Arens in a playoff to advance to district.

He became the first player from the program to advance to district since 2005 graduate Michael Banaski advanced in both 2003 and 2004.

Ellis then shot 74 in the district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley to advance to state.

Also competing for the Raiders at sectional were seniors John Hildebrand (86), Nate Wallace (91), Connor Davis (99) and Corbin Davis (103).

Wallace wins district title

Sophomore Leah Wallace won her second consecutive girls cross country district championship when she ran 18 minutes, 45.71 seconds on Oct. 20 in the Division I, district 2 race at Watkins Memorial.

Wallace edged Dublin Coffman's Rachel Bosworth (18:48.04) for the title.

Wallace, who placed fifth at regional and 13th at state a year ago, will run in the regional Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North, where the top 16 individuals advance to state Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.

Also moving on for the Raiders is senior Dominik Seitzer of the boys team. He placed second (16:14.06) in the district 3 race behind Dublin Jerome's Jake Mandel (16:11.57).

Reynoldsburg was eighth (286) as the top six teams advanced to regional. Seitzer was followed by junior Donovan Kitchen (48th, 18:25.75), senior Brian Albrecht (65th, 20:07.12) and sophomores Christian Snyder (82nd, 21:19.26), James Welday (89th, 22:28.17), Mike Crider (95th, 24:42.68) and Blake Campbell (97th, 25:51.72).

Wallace was followed in the girls race by seniors Kyrsty Rider (63rd, 23:26.83), Logan Baker (73rd, 23:48.97) and Ellie Barclay (91st, 26:13.84) and sophomore Kaily Lesline (94th, 26:47.86).

Reynoldsburg was 12th (322) as the top five teams advanced.

Soccer teams play in tourneys

While the girls soccer team opened the Division I district tournament with a 2-1 overtime loss to Hilliard Darby on Oct. 16, the boys team advanced to a district semifinal.

The boys were seeded just 24th for the tournament but opened with a 2-1 win over 15th-seeded Marysville in a second-round game Oct. 20.

The Raiders played seventh-seeded Westerville North in a district semifinal Oct. 24, with the winner to face sixth-seeded Olentangy Orange or 12th-seeded Westerville South in a district final at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.

Last season, the Raiders won their first district title since 1985.

The girls squad took a 1-0 advantage on Darby early in the second half. Alex Thorn scored, but Darby tied it with 4:45 to go and won it six minutes into the extra session.

The Raiders finished 9-6-2.

"They played hard and together as a team, and we left everything on the field," coach Dana Ortman said.

"It was a very emotional game. It's fun to play in those types of tight games."