Week 8 Preview
Groveport at Pickerington North
Cruisers (1-6, 1-3 in OCC-Ohio) <> Panthers (7-0, 4-0)
Contrary to some of the game's statistics, things never felt right to the Pickerington High School North football team's offense during a 20-3 victory Oct. 11 at Reynoldsburg.
Senior quarterback Zeph Miller completed 21 of 29 passes for 296 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and he hooked up with nine receivers.
Continuing with a theme from a 49-14 victory over Pickerington Central on Oct. 4 of North having success on long pass plays, Miller hit senior wide receiver Chris McDowell for a 79-yard first-quarter touchdown and junior wide receiver Quincy Storey for a 58-yard pass that set up another score.
Still, struggles to move the ball throughout much of the second half and a running game that produced just 72 yards on 31 attempts caused the Panthers concern.
North, which is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division and on track to earn a home playoff game in Division I, Region 2, will attempt to find more offensive consistency when it plays host to Groveport on Friday, Oct. 18.
The Cruisers are 1-6 overall and 1-3 in the league and have lost each of the last two seasons to the Panthers.
"We just stunk offensively (against Reynoldsburg)," coach Tom Phillips said. "We didn't have the timing. You coach 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds and that's going to happen. We just had a bad flow and it just wasn't a good day. Give credit to our defense for getting us through."
Senior Jabree Lather led North with 42 yards rushing on nine carries against the Raiders. He leads Panthers running backs with 447 yards on 70 attempts and has scored six touchdowns after not being eligible for the opening 20-0 win over St. Charles on Aug. 30.
Miller leads the Panthers in rushing with 502 yards and nine touchdowns and is 86-for-135 passing for 1,323 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Junior Jaye Williams has 20 catches for 234 yards, senior Tanner Gillum has 17 catches for 204 yards and one touchdown and McDowell has 14 receptions for 273 yards and four scores. Gillum led North with seven catches for 60 yards against Reynoldsburg.
Storey has 12 catches for 252 yards, which gives him a team-best 21 yards per reception.
Groveport gave up 482 total yards, including 270 yards and three touchdowns through the air, in a 52-35 win Oct. 11 against Newark.
North beat Newark 45-0 on Sept. 20.