The London High School football team used a devastating running game and a tenacious defense to overwhelm host Grandview 42-0 on Oct. 5 in a MSL-Ohio Division game.
But neither Red Raiders coach Kyle Cutler nor his players were jubilant after running their record to 7-0. London has outscored its opposition 380-61.
“I suppose you could say we had a good night when you look up at the scoreboard, but all of us to a man know deep down we’ve got to get a lot better,” Cutler said. “We didn’t play a very clean game, and I’m going to go away from here bothered about that.”
London played running back KJ Price as a wildcat quarterback for much of the night because of injuries to its quarterbacks. Price rushed for 213 yards on 26 carries and scored four touchdowns. One came on a fumbled exchange that he scooped up and took to the end zone.
“We just do whatever it takes to win,” said Price, who improved his season rushing totals to 1,533 yards and 25 TDs. “I know we aren’t celebrating much, but Coach has us in the mindset that we’re going to feel the same no matter what the score is. The offense and defense worked together really well to get the job done.”
Running back Brennan Spiess also had a big night for London, rushing for 171 yards on 11 carries with two long TDs. He and Price each came into the game averaging more than 15 yards per carry.
“We try to be multiple on offense and show people to keep them guessing,” Cutler said. “Defensively, we kept them off the scoreboard and that’s our top priority.”
The Red Raiders’ defense was just as impressive, limiting Grandview (5-2, 1-2) to 114 total yards, about half of which came on the game’s final drive. The Bobcats managed only 19 yards rushing on 22 attempts. London recorded eight tackles for loss.
“It’s nice to be able to shut out a good team like this, but like coach always says, we’ve got a lot of improve on if we want to go where we plan to go,” linebacker Bricker Thiel said. “We tried to take away their inside running game and force them outside.”
A hard-nosed running team, Grandview came out throwing on its first four plays in hopes of loosening up London.
Price blocked the ensuing punt and London was in business quickly. Price scored his first TD, and later added another to cap a 12-play, 86-yard drive just before halftime. The march chewed up some 7:30.
Grandview didn’t pick up its second first down until midway through the third quarter. A running clock went into effect shortly thereafter.
“They took some of our stuff away that we like to run and made it a long night for us,” Grandview coach Jason Peters said. “When we can’t run the ball, it makes for a long night. We hung in there and shut them down for stretches, but they ultimately made plays and beat us.”
Price, who was limited to 5 yards a carry in the first half, finally broke a 61-yarder and later added a 31-yard scamper after scooping up the fumbled wildcat snap.
Boasting a huge offensive front, London increasingly wore down Grandview and was able to spring additional big runs.
“I’m one of those who looks at the glass half-empty instead of half-full, but this was a good league win for us and we’ll move on from here,” Cutler said.
Peters, whose team dropped its second consecutive game against a high-caliber opponent, was upset afterward.
“We can build from this and get better,” he said. “We can still achieve all the goals we set out to get at the beginning of the season. We just have to pull together.”
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