The Grandview Heights High School football team will miss the Division VI playoffs for the second consecutive season, but it still has a chance to finish with a winning record.
The Bobcats have won two consecutive games to improve to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division heading into its season finale Friday, Oct. 27, at Columbus Academy.
Grandview was projected to be 11th in the Region 23 computer ratings this week and has been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, according to joeeitel.com. The top eight teams advance to the playoffs.
Coach Jason Peters said the Bobcats still have a lot to play for in the final week.
"We have had a rough couple of weeks with injuries and other things and I can't say enough about these kids," Peters said. "I'm really proud of the way our kids have been handling adversity and showing up and doing what they needed to do. They have stayed together and the way they responded, showed up and went to work has been great."
Linebacker Luke Sterneker returned from a leg injury to kick extra points Oct. 20 against Logan Elm, and quarterback Kyle Casey will be evaluated this week because of an injury to his left (non-throwing) arm.
Also, running back/linebacker Hudson Jump left the team after an injury-riddled season.
Academy is 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio after defeating Liberty Union 17-6 on Oct. 20. The Bobcats defeated the Lions 22-13 on Oct. 13.
Running back Herman Moultrie leads Academy with 1,038 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 162 carries. He also has caught 21 passes for 237 yards and two scores.
Quarterback Matt Saling has completed 108 of 194 passes for 1,095 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. His primary target is Dorrian Moultrie, who has 49 receptions for 498 yards and seven touchdowns.
"They just have kids who can flat-out play at a high level," Peters said. "We have to do a good job of executing and containing them."
Grandview defeated Logan Elm 28-0 in its final home game of the season. James Lachey rushed for a 2-yard touchdown and returned an interception 35 yards for a score. However, the senior's most memorable score was a 73-yard touchdown pass to his sophomore brother, Luke Lachey.
"We have been doing that since 7 and 5 years old, throwing the ball deep in the yard," James Lachey said. "It was really special to hit him out there like that on the 73-yard touchdown.
"You could see on film that he didn't think I could air it out that far, and I let it loose and you could see him running hard to get underneath it. He made a great catch and took off. My parents loved it. I had like 30-some relatives there in the middle of the stands. They were freaking out."
James Lachey had never played quarterback before Casey was injured Oct. 13. He was a lineman before high school and had been a tight end with the Bobcats before this season.
"I didn't expect to get that chance with him (throwing a touchdown pass)," Luke Lachey said. "It's something we can talk about for the rest of our lives.
"It was a perfect pass. The corner came down, thinking it was (a) jet (sweep) and he threw a perfect pass. It probably went 30 yards (in the air) and was a perfect spiral."
Bryce Stanley had a 77-yard touchdown run for the other score.
James Lachey leads the Bobcats in rushing with 716 yards and 14 touchdowns on 117 carries. He is 5-for-9 passing for 152 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and has caught 10 passes for 209 yards and one score.
"You look at what James has been able to do at quarterback, it's just amazing," Peters said. "You look at him, he's doing what's he's done for the last 17 years, and that's throw to his little brother. There's a comfort level there. He's giving his brother a chance and Luke's making plays."
Luke Lachey leads the Bobcats in receiving with 14 catches for 336 yards and five touchdowns.
Harrison Morosky is next in rushing with 301 yards and two touchdowns on 53 carries. Casey has completed 44 of 88 passes for 717 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions.