After facing Hilliard Davidson’s punishing triple-option rushing attack in the opener, the Grove City High School football team must prepare for a different challenge in Week 2.
The Dawgs will have to deal with Westerville Central’s potent spread attack when they visit the Warhawks on Friday, Aug. 31.
“That’s what makes preparing for Davidson so hard, it’s like Ohio State preparing for Navy,” Grove City coach Tennyson Varney said. “It’s just an anomaly. It’s not the same offense you see from anybody else. You have to try to get your kids ready by Week 2 to cover the spread. In Week 1, you’re covering power, triple-option football. It’s a different kind of world. We’re never going to have better athletes than anybody we play.”
Grove City hopes to bounce back from a 31-0 loss to visiting Davidson on Aug. 24, while Central is looking to improve to 2-0 under first-year coach Brent Morrison after winning at Whitehall 19-6 that same night. Morrison had been an assistant in the program since 2005 before replacing John Magistro in the offseason.
Grove City managed just 121 total yards against Davidson, an area in which Varney knows his team will have to improve.
Senior running back D.J. Gatewood led the Dawgs with 46 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Senior linebacker D.J. Neff led the defense with 8.5 tackles.
“Coach Varney has those guys firing off the ball and their defensive coordinator, Rick Vaughn, used to be at Westerville South, so we’re pretty knowledgeable about the defense that they run,” Morrison said. “It’s a defense South used to run where they’re blitzing all kinds of guys and bringing all kinds of pressure. That always causes some interesting challenges when you’re creating game plans.”
Central took control in the second half against Whitehall. Quarterback LaBronz Davis II passed for 277 yards and one touchdown, and running back Tariq Stewart rushed for 105 yards and a score.
Defensively, the Warhawks are led by senior Dontay Hunter II (DL/LB), who has committed to Purdue.
“The athletes that Westerville Central has are going to be very tough to defend,” Varney said. “Their defense is good. They run the football, so we’re going to have our hands full again. We don’t have anybody that looks like (Hunter). When you put the film on he just looks like the guy. He sticks out on the field.”