During its first season playing each of the programs from the MSL-Ohio Division last fall, the Ready High School football team won five of the six games.
The Silver Knights will try to prove that they remain a good match for the league’s mix of teams, which compete mostly in Divisions IV, V and VI, beginning Friday, Sept. 14, when they visit Grandview.
This is the second year of Ready’s football program being considered an auxiliary member of the MSL-Ohio, and next fall it could end up being a full-fledged member.
Last season, the Knights beat three of the league’s six teams by a touchdown or less and lost 32-2 to the largest program in the league, Division II Whitehall, in Week 9.
Ready qualified for the Division V, Region 19 playoffs and finished 7-4.
Grandview beat Zanesville Rosecrans 70-26 on Sept. 7 to improve to 3-0.
“We had an early lead (on Grandview last year) and we hung on for the win (24-22),” coach Brian Cross said. “But we (were leading) them (24-6), so we had them pretty good for most of the game.”
Running back Jack Foley rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown against Grandview last year and has been one of the key cogs on offense again this season.
The Knights lost to Hartley 49-19 on Sept. 7 to drop to 1-2. Foley rushed for a 6-yard touchdown and Jaishan Norris had a 7-yard touchdown reception in the first half as Ready trailed 21-13 heading into halftime.
Ready beat West Jefferson 30-23 on Aug. 31 as Foley rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.
Quarterback Austin Aiello passed for 238 yards and two touchdowns against West Jefferson behind an offensive line that features Josh Baum at center, Cade Canter and Gabriel Hawkins at tackle, Sam Hardenberg and Nick Kamer at guard and Thomas Stiltner at tight end. Jacob Robinson is another key offensive lineman but has been battling a sprained ankle.
“After the way we coached and played the first week (during a 28-0 loss to Genoa Area), to come back and coach and play the way we did the second week, we were very happy with our overall game plan and execution,” Cross said.
Grandview posted shutouts over Centennial (27-0 on Aug. 24) and Africentric (42-0 on Aug. 31) before dominating Rosecrans, which was a Division VII playoff qualifier last season, as quarterback Kyle Casey threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
Against Africentric, the Bobcats gave up just 32 yards rushing and got two touchdown runs apiece from Hudson Jump and Darreion Davis as well as a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sam Speaks to Luke Lachey.
Defensively for Ready, Canter, Hardenbergh and Billy Fannin on the line and Aiello at linebacker have led the way, according to Cross.