The Westland High School football team is hoping to end the season on a positive note -- and make program history -- when it travels to Central Crossing on Friday, Nov. 1, for an OCC-Central Division game.
Both the Cougars and Comets were 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Central and both had lost five consecutive games entering contests Oct. 25 against Upper Arlington and Marysville, respectively.
Westland has yet to beat Central Crossing. The Comets lead the series 4-0, including a 34-14 win last season.
"For us, it's the one game we get to play against a (South-Western City Schools) district opponent," coach Steve White said. "A lot of our kids know kids from Central Crossing and they played against each other since middle school. It's always fun to play intra-district schools."
Westland, which lost to Dublin Coffman 52-0 on Oct. 18, had been outscored 399-85 through eight games. Before facing UA, the Cougars had lost their previous five games by an average margin of 54.2 points.
Sophomore Clay Carrel has emerged as the Cougars' starting quarterback and, in his first five games under center, he had rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown on 53 carries and had completed 11 of 24 passes for 62 yards and an interception.
"It is kind of pressuring, but it will be great competition," Carrel said of playing Central Crossing. "I'm looking forward to it. They have been putting points up on some teams that we've had a little bit of difficulty with."
Through eight games, D'Kahri Scott, who has moved from quarterback to wide receiver, had a team-high 256 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 64 carries. Wide receiver Dominick Thomas had a team-high 22 receptions for 219 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Reggie Gilliam had 17 catches for a team-high 290 yards and three touchdowns.
Central Crossing, which defeated Brookhaven 10-7 on Sept. 13, had been outscored 246-63 in its five games before facing Marysville.
Through eight games, quarterback Luke Duncan had completed 125 of 221 passes for 1,228 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions and had rushed for 520 yards and six touchdowns on 125 carries.
Wide receiver Noah Stephens had a team-leading 48 catches for 593 yards and four touchdowns and wide receiver Michael Traversa had 42 receptions for 509 yards and one touchdown.
"They have a good system in offensively," White said of the Comets' spread offense. "This is the second year they've been running it, so they've had a chance to fine-tune some stuff. They do look a lot better on offense and they have some great size up front that we're going to have to contend with. We don't have as much size as they do, so that will be a challenge for us."
Farmer runs to regional meet
Seth Farmer of the boys cross country team qualified for the Division I regional meet after a strong performance in the district meet Oct. 19 at Watkins Memorial.
The junior placed sixth of 102 runners in the district 2 meet in 16 minutes, 27.93 seconds.
"I was really happy with the way I raced," Farmer said. "My coach told me I was going to get between 10th and 12th and I got sixth."
Dublin Jerome's Jake Mandel won the race in 16:03.81.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals at district advanced to regional, which was held Oct. 26 at Pickerington North. The top 16 individuals at regional advanced to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway.
"I was very pleased with Seth's performance at district," coach Josh Barkeloo said. "He ran a strong and tactical race on a very technical and muddy course. He got out in front early to stay out of all the mess. We were hoping for a top 10 finish to comfortably qualify for regional, so a sixth-place finish was on the high side of our expectations."
Westland finished 13th (356) in district 2 behind champion Jerome (23) as 14 teams scored.
Also competing for the Cougars were Bryce Long (79th, 19:37.05), Andrew Choate (87th, 20:09.63), Andrew Ritchie (88th, 20:12.75), Robinson Abreu (96th, 22:59.2), Connor Scott (97th, 23:03.19) and Kurt Guffey (98th, 23:42.76).
The girls team finished 12th (354) in district 2 behind champion Gahanna (39) as 14 teams scored.
Donna Mayhew led the Cougars, finishing 50th (21:36.81) of 95 runners.
Also competing were Heidi Paxson (57th, 21:55.97), Hannah Festog (78th, 23:36.59), Kelly Draves (84th, 24:19.40), Jessie Neavill (90th, 25:20.43) and Macala Schirtzinger (94th, 27:24).