Two teams going in opposite directions will meet Friday, Oct. 11, when the Reynoldsburg High School football team plays host to Pickerington North.
After getting out to a 3-1 start, the Raiders have lost their last two, including 31-14 at Gahanna on Oct. 4 to fall to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
North is riding high after a 49-14 victory over Pickerington Central on Oct. 4 improved it to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the league.
Raiders coach Buddy White is expecting his team to perform better this week after giving up 329 yards of offense, including 183 passing, while committing four turnovers against Gahanna.
"Like most coaches I took a hard look in the mirror and asked myself if I did a good job of having my team ready (against Gahanna), and maybe I let the team underestimate them a little bit," White said. "We're a rivalry to Gahanna and they obviously did a much better job of getting ready to play us. Our team is much better than we played. That was the worst game we played all season.
"Now we've got Pickerington North coming in here, and they're the real deal. I have much respect for Pickerington North and I'd like to go in giving them our best shot. We'll have to be aware of their schemes, but the thing we have to do our best job at is blocking and tackling."
The Panthers gave up 102 yards rushing to Central but could find it more difficult to stop the run against Reynoldsburg.
The Raiders have one of the area's leading rushers in senior David Moore, who has 958 yards on 144 carries.
In addition, the status of North senior defensive linemen Alex Reigle and Geno Rollo is unclear after both were ejected from the Central game.
"Now we've got to move on because Reynoldsburg is a very good football team," North coach Tom Phillips said.
North used an almost 50-50 split of the run and pass to blow past Central as senior quarterback Zeph Miller passed for 255 yards and the Panthers rushed for 234.
Miller hooked up with five receivers, including senior Justin Childers three times for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
The Raiders will counter with a secondary that features seniors Conner McCloud and Andrew Norman at cornerback, senior Tyrek Pugh at strong safety and junior Ashton Dulin at free safety.
Girls tennis season ends at sectional
Senior Keisha Cummings and junior Diamond Person of the girls tennis team came one win short of advancing to the Division I district tournament in doubles.
On Oct. 5 in a sectional quarterfinal on their home court, Cummings and Person lost to New Albany's Alyssa Seneviratne and Sydney Setnar 6-2, 6-2.
"I'm very happy with how they played," coach Les Somogyi said. "They were on fire (in their first two matches). Unfortunately (we had to) meet New Albany. But they still played very well."
Also competing at sectional in doubles were senior Paris Ring and junior Jessica Acosta-Gorman, who lost in the second round Oct. 3.
In singles, senior Brea Brooks and Tynia Smith and sophomore Jadelyn Cheng all lost in first-round sectional matches Oct. 3.
Somogyi has been pleased with the improvement shown by Acosta-Gorman.
"She just absolutely blew me away with the way she played the last five weeks," Somogyi said. "Two years ago she didn't even know how to keep score. She has just worked so hard."
Most of boys golf team to return
After making it to the Division I state tournament a year ago, things didn't come together for junior Darnell Ellis in the boys golf sectional Oct. 1 at Turnberry.
Ellis, who finished second in average in the OCC-Ohio to make first-team all-league, shot an 83 to come up short of advancing to district.
Freshman Zac Peters led the Raiders in the 12-team sectional with an 82 as Reynoldsburg finished 11th (368) behind champion Pickerington North (299).
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
"Every day is different and it just wasn't (Ellis') day," coach Chip Warren said. "Zac Peters shot an 82, and that was his best round of the year."
Also competing at sectional were the only seniors in the program, Tommy Coley (101) and Evan Durkin (102), as well as freshman Chase Collins (124).
Also looking to contribute next season will be freshman twins Reece Strohm and Trevor Strohm.
Reynoldsburg went 4-20 in the OCC-Ohio to finish behind Pickerington North (24-0), Gahanna (18-6), Grove City (17-7), Lancaster (12-12) and Pickerington Central (9-15) and ahead of Newark (0-24).
"Evan and Tommy were really good kids, the kind of kids you like to be able to work with," Warren said. "As a team we did get better and a lot of times you don't get better, so that's good. The last five times they competed before the sectional they improved each round. My message to them is that they have 10 months to get better for a two-month season."