Robin Miller has watched film of the Bexley High School football team, and the Columbus Academy coach has only one answer for defeating the Lions: a total-team effort.

Robin Miller has watched film of the Bexley High School football team, and the Columbus Academy coach has only one answer for defeating the Lions: a total-team effort.

Miller said handing the Lions their first loss will be a tall order. The teams meet Friday, Oct. 21, at Academy, and the winner clinches a tie for the MSL-Ohio Division title.

Both teams enter the contest at 4-0 in the league. The Lions are 8-0 overall and were ranked ninth in last week's Division III state poll, and the Vikings are 7-1 overall.

In terms of the postseason, the Lions were projected to be fourth this week in Division III, Region 11 and the Vikings were projected to be fifth in Division V, Region 18. The top eight teams in each region make the playoffs.

"We can't take a play off against a team like Bexley," Miller said. "We can't have a misalignment or a bad angle or it will hurt us. Newark Catholic was a good team and we were hurt by mistakes (in a 34-26 loss Sept. 10). We just need to line up and have all 11 guys on board with what we want to do."

Bexley coach John Smith said the Vikings have skilled athletes who make the most of their coaching.

"I think they have a group of tremendous athletes from (wide receiver Jerome) Buckner to (running back Herman) Moultrie, and (they) have a strong quarterback in (Nick) Stringer," said Smith, whose team is 8-0 for the first time since 1982. "They have so many things that they can do and so many ways that they can do them and that can put a defense in conflict."

The Vikings defeated Berne Union 50-14 on Oct. 14 with the starters playing only two quarters. Roman Bellisari rushed for 89 yards and three touchdowns on four carries and returned an interception 32 yards for a score at linebacker.

Bexley's offense is led by running back Micah Fliegel, who has 1,315 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on 115 carries. Quarterback Simon Kroos has 349 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 52 carries, and he has completed 39 of 46 passes for 597 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.

"They have a multi-pronged attack, but their quarterback Kroos is impressive," Miller said. "He's cerebral, shifty and he has improved so much from last year. Fliegel puts up the big numbers, but Kroos is the one who makes it work."

Fliegel rushed for 232 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries as the Lions defeated London 42-7 on Oct. 14 in MSL-Ohio play. Kroos was 6-for-7 passing for 59 yards and rushed for 42 yards and one score on seven carries, and he returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown as a defensive back.

Field hockey team wins league title

The field hockey team captured the outright Central Ohio High School Field Hockey League-East title with a 2-0 win over New Albany on Oct. 13.

Carolyn Bowman and Baylee Mueller scored for the Vikings, who went 7-0 in the league.

New Albany did not have a shot on goal.

Academy was seeded first of 17 teams in the district tournament and was 15-0-1 overall before playing 17th-seeded Lancaster in the second round Oct. 19. The winner plays 10th-seeded Olentangy Orange or 12th-seeded Columbus School for Girls in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 25. The district final is Oct. 29 at Olentangy Liberty.

The Vikings defeated CSG 6-0 on Sept. 27.

"I'm as pleased as I can be because as the stakes become more difficult ... these kids just keep marching forward," coach Anne Horton said.

Three tennis players advance to state

Three girls tennis players will represent Academy in the Division II state tournament Friday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 22, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

Junior Georgia Tuckerman earned her third state berth, finishing second in singles in the district tournament that concluded Oct. 15 at Upper Arlington.

Tuckerman lost to her cousin, CSG's Marissa Madison, 6-4, 6-1 in the final. The top two finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.

Himaja Reddy was 1-1 and Deeksha Bathini was 0-1 in singles for the Vikings.

In doubles, Jacinta Cresta-nello and Sarah Wexner won a district title, defeating CSG's Savannah Halley and Helen Hoag 0-6, 6-0, 6-1 in the final.

Maddie Tuckerman and Lexis Hughes were 0-1 in doubles, as Tuckerman had to withdraw during a first-round match against Wellington's Brianna Masters and Sarah Zimmerman because of illness. Tuckerman and Hughes won the first set 7-5 and were trailing 1-0 in the second.

Boys runners win league title

The boys cross country team scored 35 points to win the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 15 at London Country Club, ahead of Bexley (48), Grandview (75), London (115), Whitehall (123) and Worthington Christian (129).

Nick Robie was second of 42 runners in 16 minutes, 50 seconds. Liam McCann was sixth (17:27), followed by Nick Watson (seventh, 17:29), Charlie Sabgir (ninth, 17:44), Grayson Mick (11th, 17:48.7), Charlie Heermann (16th, 18:05) and Abhor Ramesh (20th, 18:16).

Academy will compete in the Division III, district 2 meet Saturday, Oct. 22, at Watkins Memorial. The top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to regional Oct. 29 at Pickerington North.

The girls team finished second (36) in the league meet behind Bexley (35) and ahead of Grandview (77), London (90) and Whitehall (116).

Annalise Grammel finished first (19:05) among 35 runners, followed by Audrey Grammel (fourth, 20:46), Lily Kaufman (sixth, 21:24), Jessica Griffin (12th, 22:21), Suzi Frankovich (13th, 22:24) and Madeline Owen (16th, 22:42).

Academy will compete in the Division III district meet, with the top four teams and top 16 individuals advancing to regional Oct. 29 at North.

Boys soccer team to face Patriot Prep

The boys soccer team is seeded seventh of 21 teams in the Division III district tournament and plays host to 21st-seeded Patriot Prep in the second round Saturday, Oct. 22.

Both teams had a first-round bye. The Vikings are 6-5-5.

The winner plays second-seeded Marion Pleasant, sixth-seeded Wellington or 20th-seeded Harvest Prep in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 26.

The district final is Oct. 29.

Girls soccer team opens district tourney

The girls soccer team was seeded third of 12 teams in the Division III district tournament and played sixth-seeded Wellington or 12th-seeded Madison Plains in the second round Oct. 19.

The winner plays second-seeded Grandview, sixth-seeded Ready or 10th-seeded Pleasant in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 25. The district final is Oct. 29.

The Vikings had a first-round bye and went 9-2-3 in the regular season.

Girls volleyball team begins postseason

The girls volleyball was 7-10 before playing third-seeded Newark Catholic on Oct. 19 in the first round of the Division III district tournament.

The Vikings were seeded 18th of 24 teams.

The winner plays 21st-seeded Madison Plains in the second round Saturday, Oct. 22, with the winner advancing to a district semifinal against sixth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek, 15th-seeded Heath or 19th-seeded Marion Elgin on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Buckeye Valley.

The district final is Oct. 29 at Buckeye Valley.

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