Football

Grandview 33, Whitehall 23

Bobcats use second-quarter burst to down Rams

By KEN KITCHEN
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The Grandview Heights High School football team rebounded from its first regular-season loss since the 2010 season with a 33-23 victory over Whitehall on Sept. 7

The Bobcats used quick strikes to score three touchdowns in span of 5 minutes, 13 seconds during the second quarter in the game played at Reynoldsburg.

After Whitehall had taken a 3-0 lead on a 26-yard field goal, Payton Jones got Grandview started with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 6:14 left in the second quarter. Joe Pinney then went up the middle and cut left to the sideline and ran untouched for a 20-yard score with 2:24 left in the half. Keion Price followed with a 42-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Nick Schopis with 1:01 left before halftime.

Schopis finished 9-for-14 passing for 97 yards and one touchdown.

Grandview -- which improved to 2-1 while Whitehall fell to 1-2 -- scored all 20 points without any first downs in the quarter.

Grandview coach Jason Peters, whose team had lost 30-13 to East Knox on Aug. 31, was not surprised by the offensive outburst.

“That’s always big,” he said. “We’ve got an explosive offense that can put points on the board in a hurry. We’ve got a lot of playmakers and we’ve just got to put the ball in their hands.”

Jones also returned a punt 27 yards to the Rams 24-yard line late in the third quarter, and Grandview kept the ball on the ground eight plays in a row with Jones running in from 4 yards out as the Bobcats pushed their advantage to 27-9 with just over nine minutes left in the game.

Jones added a 39-yard scoring run Grandview’s next possession to make it 33-9 with 6:39 remaining.

In addition to his kickoff and punt returns, Jones carried nine times for 48 yards with two touchdowns and caught one pass for 8 yards. He also sacked Whitehall quarterback Cody Koons once.

“Payton is a playmaker,” Peters said. “He’s one of those guys that you just have to put the ball in his hands.”

Grandview finished with eight sacks of Koons, who was 7-for-18 passing for 41 yards.

“The sacks make it easier to play defense and cuts down on their playbook,” Peters said. “When you put them in situations like third-and-12 and third-and-15, it just makes it a lot easier."

Isaiah Turner carried 17 times for 60 yards for Whitehall, which got an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half from Barry Upchurch that made it 20-9.

Upchurch also had a 65-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Whitehall added another late score when Dassan Jefferson returned a fumble 61 yards for a touchdown.

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final
GRANDVIEW 0 20 0 13 33
WHITEHALL 0 3 6 14 23

W—Abduljelil 26 FG
G—Jones 95 kickoff return (kick failed)
G—Pinney 20 run (Readey kick)
G—Price 42 pass from Schopis (Readey kick)
W—Upchurch 84 kickoff return (kick failed)
G—Jones 4 run (Readey kick)
G—Jones 39 run (kick failed)
W—Upchurch 65 run (Koons run)
W—Jefferson 61 fumble return (run failed)

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