After his team lost for the 12th consecutive season to Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg High School football coach Buddy White admitted his disappointment regarding the Raiders’ inability to finish drives and how they committed penalties at inopportune times throughout the second half.
The other numbers showed what Central coach Jay Sharrett said after the Tigers’ 28-17 win Sept. 27 – the Raiders brought their ‘A’ game.
Reynoldsburg produced 328 yards of offense and led 10-0 before giving up 21 consecutive points.
The Raiders will try to clean up their mistakes when they travel Friday, Oct. 4, to Gahanna.
Reynoldsburg is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
“We had some drive killers and didn’t play as well in the second half as we did in the first half,” White said.
“We’ve got to put this behind us as soon as possible.”
Two things the Raiders have going for them on offense are the big-play abilities of senior wide receiver Demetris Givens and the power rushing of senior running backs David Moore and Zack Mehan.
Givens has six receptions for 239 yards and two touchdowns, including a 78-yard touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage against Central.
Moore rushed for 134 yards and one touchdown and Mehan added 47 yards rushing against the Tigers.
In the second half, the Raiders had one drive end with a fumble and another end on a botched snap on a fake punt.
Gahanna is 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the league, coming off consecutive wins over Groveport (20-13 on Sept. 20) and Newark (48-10 on Sept. 27).
Against Newark, sophomore Mason Blancett stepped in at quarterback after previously being the backup and completed 16 of 20 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Vasean Davis rushed for 113 yards and four touchdowns and Tank Davis had seven catches for 68 yards and one score.
“I want to make sure we focus on playing better (this) week,” White said. “Gahanna’s going to be ready for us.”
Girls soccer team hopes to finish strong
The girls soccer team is hoping to build momentum for the postseason after going through an up-and-down regular season.
The Raiders were 3-7-2 overall and 1-3-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Newark on Oct. 1. The Division I district tournament draw is Sunday, Oct. 6.
Reynoldsburg earned its first league win Sept. 24 when it beat Lancaster 3-1.
“I expect a little more out of the girls and I think they expected more this year to be honest,” coach Tim Mathias said.
“(The Lancaster game) was probably the best we’ve looked and we’re looking to make a run toward the end of the season here. We knew our schedule at the end could get us going in the right direction.”
Reynoldsburg closes the regular season with home games Thursday, Oct. 3, against Upper Arlington and Saturday, Oct. 5, against Tree of Life, and with a game Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Groveport.
Freshman Sam Buck has emerged as a key player on offense after beginning the season on junior varsity. Senior defender Kelsey Johnson and senior goalkeeper Catherine Gundelfinger have led the defense, according to Mathias.
Senior Katie Broehm is the most experienced player on offense.
Also contributing after beginning the season on j.v. is freshman defender Lacy Johnson. She has taken the spot of senior Aimee Ortega, who has been out with a dislocated finger but could return for the district tournament.
“I moved (Buck) up from (j.v.) for (a 5-1 loss to Dublin Jerome on Sept. 7) and she actually scored the only goal we had in that game,” Mathias said. “She’s not feeling any pressure and the girls have accepted her.
“I think (opponents) focus on (Broehm), which allows us to use the other players around her. She’s been more of an assist leader.”
Wallace rounding into running shape
Junior Leah Wallace and her teammates in the cross country program have one more tuneup before the OCC-Ohio meet Oct. 12 at Pickerington Central when they compete Saturday, Oct. 5, in the Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington.
Wallace, who has won back-to-back league titles and made it to state in each of the past two seasons, ran a season-best 18 minutes, 45.4 seconds to finish runner-up Sept. 14 in the Galion Festival behind Olentangy Liberty junior Claire Wiles (18:26.9).
On Sept. 28, Wallace placed third (18:50.95) in the Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Bradley.
“So far it’s been all right,” Wallace said. “We’ve been having some harder workouts so I’m not getting times or places that I’d like, but I think I’m doing the right things to have a strong finish at the end of the season. We’ve focused on really hitting it hard and having a lot of strength and speed workouts throughout the week.”