The league schedule finally has arrived for the Grandview Heights High School football team, which hopes the change will help snap a two-game losing streak.
The Bobcats dropped to 2-2 after losing to Ready 24-22 on Sept. 15. They open MSL-Ohio Division play Friday, Sept. 22, at home against Bexley.
Grandview is looking to even the most recent series against the Lions, who hold a 2-1 edge since the teams again became league rivals. The programs have a long tradition going back to when they were members of the Central Buckeye League and Buckeye Athletic Conference.
"This is a big game because the teams have played each other for so long," coach Jason Peters said.
"It goes back to the BAC and before that. They are two of the original suburbs in Columbus so it's a natural rivalry."
The series resumed in 2014 with Bexley winning 42-16. Before that, the teams last met in 1998 in a contest the Lions won 39-9.
"I used to live in Grandview and I would go down and watch (the Bobcats) play, and they always have a sound, disciplined team," first-year Bexley coach Nathan Castorena said. "They have a good defense with Mike Lanza as the defensive coordinator. I knew Mike from my days (as an assistant) at Gahanna, and he will have them ready."
The Lions lost their MSL-Ohio opener to Liberty Union 41-7 on Sept. 15. Sophomore Anthony Welsh was 7-for-10 passing for 91 yards and two interceptions, junior Isaiah McFadden had 53 yards rushing on nine carries and senior Tyler Mitchell had two receptions for 57 yards.
Bexley, the two-time defending MSL-Ohio champion, "is a bigger school (Division IV) and they can put a lot of kids on the field," said Peters, whose team is in Division VI. "They have a new head coach and they graduated a lot of seniors, so we'll know more as the week goes on and we break down the film more."
Against Ready, Grandview nearly rallied from a 24-6 deficit in the third quarter.
James Lachey rushed 22 times for 94 yards with two touchdowns and a two-point conversion run. He also caught four passes for 104 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown from Kyle Casey.
Luke Lachey had four catches for 99 yards and two interceptions at defensive back.
"It was just a good high school football game against a really good team. Ready is going to win a lot of games," Peters said. "We just didn't execute well enough to get it done."