Newark at Reynoldsburg
Before it edged Groveport 16-14 on Oct. 5, Newark had lost its first 31 games since OCC realignment before the 2008 season. The Wildcats lost to Pickerington Central 35-6 on Oct. 12 but already have clinched their best finish since going 4-6 in 2007.
The play of quarterback Grant Russell has helped Newark take a step forward. He was 18-for-24 passing for 75 yards and two touchdowns against Groveport, with Brandon Pool catching three passes for 76 yards and one touchdown and Austin Williams adding four catches for 72 yards. Dillon has been the team's top running back.
Reynoldsburg scored 27 points each of the last two weeks. In the 49-27 loss to Pickerington North on Oct. 5, Kumar Collins rushed for more than 100 yards for the third time this season. Although the Raiders have attempted to first establish their running game, wide receiver Mykel Traylor-Bennett has proven to be a capable weapon.
*LAST WEEK -- Collins scored on a 7-yard run and Aekins hit Traylor-Bennett for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, and Tyrek Pugh scored on a 75-yard fumble return in the second to give the Raiders a 21-0 lead over Lancaster. Jordan Aekins later added a 1-yard touchdown run.
Newark trailed Pickerington Central 35-0 after three quarters and scored its only touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Russell to Pool.A