The biggest bright spot for the Ready High School football team this season might be the play of its defensive front.
Senior linemen Cade Canter and Sam Hardenbergh, junior lineman Billy Fannin and junior linebacker Thomas Stiltner have led the way for the Silver Knights, who held potential playoff teams Grandview and Amanda-Clearcreek to 17 points apiece in close losses.
According to coach Brian Cross, senior Austin Aiello also has shined while lining up at outside linebacker and strong safety in addition to playing quarterback.
"Defensively, they just play well as a team together," Cross said. "Everyone knows their roles and jobs. What we preach to them is do your job."
One of the toughest tasks the defense will face will take place Friday, Oct. 12, when Ready travels to London.
While the Knights improved to 3-4 by beating Columbus Academy 56-42 on Oct. 5, the Red Raiders are 7-0 after beating Grandview 42-0 on the same night.
London was first in the Division IV area coaches poll and ninth in the state poll last week.
In a 42-27 victory over Academy on Sept. 28, the Red Raiders racked up 501 yards of offense, all on the ground.
Senior running back K.J. Price, who rushed 32 times for 337 yards and four touchdowns against Academy, led central Ohio with 1,320 yards and 21 touchdowns on 85 carries through six games. Senior running back Brennan Spiess had 699 yards and 11 touchdowns on 43 carries.
"Our schedule is brutal," Cross said. "(London has) got more than K.J. Price. They've got another big kid who runs the ball extremely well. Watching them on film, they've got a really good offensive line and they're big. We've bent but not broke (defensively). We've given up some yardage, but normally if we can hold someone to 11-14 points we're able to (stay in the game).
"Every game is a huge game. If you're speaking from the standpoint of (playoff) computer points, I don't even think about that stuff. We're a good team."
Against Academy, Jack Foley rushed 41 times for 265 yards and four touchdowns, and Aiello had 126 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. Jaishan Norris had three receptions for 111 yards and one score, and Donovan Sanders had two rushing touchdowns.
Runners prep for CCL meet
The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the CCL meet Saturday, Oct. 13, at Otterbein.
On Sept. 29, the boys finished 18th (493) in the 19-team Erin Nance Fall Distance Classic at London Country Club behind champion Miamisburg (42) as Evan Cordle was 59th (18 minutes, 57.7 seconds) and Grant Cordle was 100th (20:41.2).
The girls were 13th (347) of 14 teams behind champion Olentangy Berlin (63) as Brigitte Bowman was 49th (23:20.0) and Addison Whitmer placed 55th (23:36.1).
Soccer, volleyball teams learn drawings
The boys and girls soccer squads and the girls volleyball team found out their Division III district tournament drawings Oct. 7.
The boys soccer team was 0-9-1 overall before facing Walnut Ridge on Oct. 8 and finished 0-4 in the CCL. The Knights close the regular season Thursday, Oct. 11, at home against Millersport.
The Knights are seeded 22nd and open the postseason Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 10th-seeded Grove City Christian or 19th-seeded Patriot Prep in the second round.
Before facing Marion Pleasant on Oct. 8 and West Jefferson on Oct. 9, the girls soccer team was 6-5-1 overall. It lost to Columbus School for Girls 2-1 on Oct. 4 to finish 0-4 in the CCL.
Ready is seeded ninth and opens the postseason Tuesday, Oct. 16, at eighth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek.
The girls volleyball team was 9-11 overall before closing the regular season Oct. 8 at Bexley. The Knights finished 2-6 in the CCL.
Ready is the 12th seed for the postseason and opens Tuesday, Oct. 16, at top-seeded Fairbanks.
Girls golfers wrap up season
Senior Eva Grace represented the girls golf program in the Division II district tournament Oct. 1 at Darby Creek, tying Centerburg's Amaiah Gammell for 29th (115).
Grace and her teammates closed their season Oct. 6 by shooting 491 in the CCL postseason tournament at NorthStar to finish 0-8 in the league.
DeSales and CSG each went 7-1 in CCL matches but the Stallions won the overall stroke tiebreaker over the Unicorns 751-764.
Eligible to return are sophomores Clarissa Bachelder, Fionnuala Criswell-Carder and Gabrielle Phillips and freshman Lema Ahmed.
Girls tennis season ends at sectional
The girls tennis team had its season end in a Division II sectional Oct. 5 at Academy.
Junior Emily Mathew and senior Eva Freeman lost in the first round and junior Lindsay Dickerson lost in the second round in singles.
In doubles, the teams of sophomores Iveth Saucedo and Jenna Ruth and senior Lucia Beickman and sophomore Claire Nagy lost in the first round.
Beickman and Freeman were the only seniors for the Knights, who finished 3-10 overall and 0-4 in the CCL.
Others eligible to return include junior Julianne Pece and sophomores Hannah Dilley, Grace Larger and Rose Scott.