After qualifying for the Division I playoffs each of the past two seasons, the Central Crossing High School football team struggled this year, finishing 2-8 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Central Division.

After qualifying for the Division I playoffs each of the past two seasons, the Central Crossing High School football team struggled this year, finishing 2-8 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Central Division.

Both victories came against teams that went winless -- Grove City and Westland.

In their first meeting against the Dawgs, the Comets won 28-21 on Sept. 9 to move to 1-2. But they wouldn't win again until Oct. 14, when they beat the Cougars 43-35.

"I wish we could have gotten some more wins for those seniors," coach Chris Harr said. "It was a very special senior class. There were a lot of players that I was real close to."

The seniors helped the Comets go 7-4 in 2014 and 2015, with both seasons ending with first-round playoff losses.

Central Crossing finished fifth in the OCC-Central behind Hilliard Davidson (5-0), Dublin Coffman (4-1), Upper Arlington (3-2) and Marysville (2-3) and ahead of Westland (0-5). Davidson and Coffman qualified for the Division I, Region 3 playoffs.

Seniors Jake Kaiser (OL/DL) and Troy Speakman (WR/DB) were first-team all-league, while seniors Drew Carmichael (K/P) and Deric Williamson (QB) and sophomores Pierre France (RB) and Aaron Reasoner (LB, 115 tackles) were second-team all-league.

Junior Owen Lakso (RB/WR/DB) was special mention all-league, and senior Ramses Redman (LB/DL) was honorable mention all-league.

Speakman, whom Harr called "the best athlete on the team," finished with 48 catches for 596 yards and 11 touchdowns and added 58.5 tackles and two interceptions.

Harr said Kaiser was "the best offensive lineman in school history."

Williamson was hampered by injuries most of the season and finished with 881 yards passing and 10 touchdowns. He injured his left elbow and forearm in a 42-7 loss to Hartley on Sept. 2 and later in the season suffered a high-ankle sprain and quad injury.

He is the program's all-time passing leader with 4,931 yards and 63 touchdowns.

"We obviously didn't have the season we wanted, but we were a really young team," Williamson said. "It excites me for the future. They'll have a great team moving forward and sometimes you have to have those growing years, and I'm all right with that. It's more about the program than just individual years."

Sophomore Kameron Peck is expected to start at quarterback next year after filling in for Williamson this season.

France rushed for 717 yards and three touchdowns on 149 carries.

Other key players eligible to return are juniors Travon Flowers (DB), Tirese Kelso (RB) and Andrew Reynolds (RB/LB) and sophomores Brent Barber (DL), Luis Bolanos-Cruz, Daniel Ewald (LB), Bobby Logan (OL), Luis Olivio (OL) and Makai Upchurch (RB).

"We're very excited," Harr said. "We have a lot of pieces with experience. The future is bright."

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank