Nathan Castorena had a coach-like response when asked about his Bexley High School football team breaking a 12-game losing streak. He said he and his players have high expectations, including more victories.
The Lions won at Campbell Memorial 16-0 on Aug. 31, giving Castorena his first victory as a head coach. They followed that up with a 41-7 loss to Hamilton Township on Sept. 7 at Fortress Obetz to fall to 1-2.
"Actually, I was really frustrated by our performance (against Memorial)," said Castorena, who is in his second season. "I have high expectations for our kids and winning is part of those expectations.
"I'm not going to lie, it feels good. The weekend after a win and preparing for the next game, it makes it a little easier. It's a little bit sweeter. But we could have played better."
Hamilton Township started Bexley's losing streak by defeating the Lions 26-20 in a Division III, Region 11 semifinal in 2016. This time, the Rangers started quickly and took a 34-0 lead into halftime.
"They are a great football team, without a doubt," Castorena said. "They played well, but it was Bexley beating Bexley. We made way too many mistakes."
The lone score for the Lions came on a 35-yard interception return by linebacker Patrick Beck in the fourth quarter. Running back Antonio Truss led Bexley's offense with 33 yards rushing on 14 carries and two catches for 13 yards.
Truss had a big game against Memorial, gaining 121 yards with one touchdown on 20 carries.
"It felt great because we hadn't won in a while," Truss said. "My team is my everything. They did a great job of blocking for me. We had a lot of energy."
Quarterback Anthony Welsh was 10-for-21 passing for 179 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown to Zack Welz. Welsh also rushed for 96 yards on 16 carries, and Welz had five receptions for 123 yards.
Bexley had 416 total yards while holding the Red Devils to 101, including minus-25 rushing.
"We watched a lot of film, had a good game plan and stayed aggressive the whole game," two-way lineman Shane Halter said. "We pretty much knew what they were running when they stepped up to the line."
The Lions begin MSL-Ohio Division play Friday, Sept. 14, at Columbus Academy. The Vikings improved to 2-1 by defeating Newark Catholic 16-14 on Sept. 8.
"Our league is competitive and is always interesting," Castorena said. "Except for Whitehall being bigger, everyone is pretty much the same size and does same thing. We all get after each other."
Carter Warstler led Academy against the Green Wave with 146 yards rushing and one touchdown on 18 carries and three catches for 53 yards and one score. Quarterback Brady Hess was 9-for-15 passing for 104 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown to Warstler.
Last fall, the Vikings snapped a four-game losing streak to the Lions with a 38-7 victory.
"It's a rivalry week for us, so we better be up for this game," Castorena said. "Any time you play Academy, it's always a big game. We just have to cut down on our mistakes. "
Boys golf team aims to win MSL-Ohio title
The boys golf team enters the third and final round of the MSL-Ohio tournament in a three-way tie with Academy and Worthington Christian.
The tournament is Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Denison Golf Club, the site of the Division II district tournament Oct. 3.
The tri-leaders all are 4-2 after two rounds with Grandview in fourth (0-6). Senior Trevor Binau was medalist in both rounds and has an average of 70.5.
In the second round Aug. 25 at Turnberry, Worthington Christian (305) finished ahead of Bexley (315), Academy (320) and Grandview (421).
Binau shot a 73, followed by Tyler Roberts (80), Micah Rubinstein (80), Bo Collier (82), Aaron Meyer (83) and Will Meyer (94).
Bexley placed second (300) behind Academy (298) in the opening round Aug. 7 at Westchester.
Last fall in the league, Bexley went 10-2 to finish second behind eventual Division II state champion Academy (11-1) and ahead of eventual Division III state champion Worthington Christian (6-6).
Girls golf team holds slight edge in league
The girls golf team will play in the final round of the MSL-Ohio tournament Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Airport.
The league has just two teams with enough players for team scores. Bexley (2-1) leads Worthington Christian (1-2) entering the event.
On Aug. 7 at Airport, the Lions shot 376 to finish ahead of Worthington Christian (406).
The teams tied at 202 in a league dual Aug. 22 at Blackhawk, but Bexley won by having a better fifth-player score.
Bexley's Viviane Banion and Worthington Christian's Rena So tied for medalist honors (44) on Sept. 6 at Blacklick Woods, but the Warriors won 206-208.
Last season, the Lions finished second (12-4) in the MSL-Ohio behind Worthington Christian (14-2).
Sept. 15 -- Galion Festival
*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. New Albany
Sept. 15 -- At Dayton Oakwood
*Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Sept. 15 -- Rodney Butt Classic at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 18 -- MSL-Ohio postseason tournament at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 15 -- Bloom-Carroll Invitational at Pine Hill
Sept. 18 -- MSL-Ohio postseason tournament at Airport
Sept. 15 -- Home vs. Granville
Sept. 15 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
Sept. 17 -- At Columbus School for Girls
Sept. 15 -- Home vs. Harvest Prep
Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Marion-Franklin