The Central Crossing High School football team has a new look this year under first-year coach Trevor White, but Upper Arlington coach Joel Cutler thinks he knows what to expect when his Golden Bears travel to play the Comets on Friday, Oct. 20.
"I used to see Trevor's teams all the time," Cutler said, referring to scrimmages against White's former team, Beechcroft, during his time at UA and, before that, at Ready. "Central Crossing definitely is his style; they'll run one- and two-back sets and not be too fancy in what they do. They have talented players that it will be a challenge to contain. We've done well against (the Comets) in the past, but this will be a challenge."
UA improved to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Central Division with a 34-7 win over Marysville on Oct. 13. That same night, Central Crossing defeated host Westland 48-21 to break a two-game losing streak in which it had not scored a point and improve to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Central.
Comets quarterback Kameron Peck scored touchdowns on three of his four carries, finishing with 55 yards rushing while completing four of eight passes for 70 yards. Tirese Kelso rushed for 171 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, and Anthony Lowe and Keason Lowe scored touchdowns on kickoff returns of 91 and 96 yards, respectively.
Anthony Lowe's return was on the opening kickoff.
Linebackers Daniel Ewald and Aaron Reasoner each had one interception to lead the Comets' defense.
"I don't think I've ever seen a game where brothers returned kickoffs for touchdowns," White said. "That was such a huge lift ... and Kameron stepped up and played well running the offense."
Projected to be 13th in this week's Division I, Region 2 computer ratings, UA must win its final two games and get outside help to return to the playoffs after a one-year absence and for the 17th time overall.
The Bears rushed for 236 yards against Marysville, 69 more than the Monarchs' total offensive output. Quarterback Sammy Sass completed eight of 14 passes for 97 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, and Avery Heath rushed for a team-high 118 yards on 23 carries.
UA held the Monarchs to minus-2 yards passing.
"The most important thing was we had zero turnovers," Cutler said. "I'm proud of how we've played on defense. They have been doing a great job reading their keys."
UA is 7-1 all-time against Central Crossing, with the only loss coming in 2014. The Bears have averaged 47.5 points in their past two games against the Comets, winning 46-39 two years ago and 49-17 last year.
"They're extremely sound and disciplined on defense and they're aggressive and physical," White said. "I like how our defense played (last week); they put the pressure on all night. We'll need to do that again."