The Grove City High School football team will look to build on a monumental win for the program when it opens OCC-Ohio Division play Friday, Sept. 29, at Lancaster.
The Dawgs snapped a 16-game losing streak and gave coach Tennyson Varney his first win with the program when they defeated host Franklin Heights 55-23 on Sept. 22.
It was Grove City’s first win since defeating Gahanna 10-7 on Oct. 16, 2015.
The Dawgs, who improved to 1-4, now face the task of beating a Lancaster team that moved to 3-2 by holding off visiting Hilliard Davidson 14-10 on Sept. 22.
Varney took over at Grove City after guiding Franklin Heights the previous three seasons. He led the Falcons to a 10-2 finish last season, helping the program earn its first postseason berth since 1989.
“It’s a conflict of interest at some point,” Varney said. “You put so much hard work and effort into that (Franklin Heights) program and those kids are playing hard and I want to see them have success. And on the other hand I have these kids over here who since January have been busting it to try to get better and improve, so I’m super happy for our kids at Grove City. They deserve it.”
Devin Dukes rushed for 216 yards and three second-half touchdowns to lead the Dawgs, and D.J. Gatewood, Cole Crager and Austin Sigler added touchdown runs. Sigler also passed for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
Grove City rushed for 415 yards and finished with a 594-279 advantage in total yards.
Tyler Monk’s 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter proved to be the game-winning score for Lancaster against Davidson. Monk finished with 85 yards on nine carries, and D.J. Pearson added 51 yards and a 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Varney expects a hard-nosed battle against the Golden Gales.
“They’re going to be physical,” he said. “You know what they’re going to do. It’s not a secret, you have to stop it. We’re pretty physical, too, so it’s going to be one of those games where it’s going to be a grinder. We have to focus on tackling better and doing things right. We’re getting better every week.”