Licking Heights High School junior Ron Carruthers-Kimball now has won on both sides of the area's football rivalry.

Licking Heights High School junior Ron Carruthers-Kimball now has won on both sides of the area's football rivalry.

He scored both of the Hornets' touchdowns in a 13-12 win over Watkins Memorial in the opener Aug. 24, including the decisive points on a 1-yard, fourth-and-goal run with 14 seconds remaining.

Carruthers-Kimball played for Watkins Memorial last season before moving in December. The Warriors won last year's opener 51-21.

"I'm happy for him because he was in a rough situation, playing against his former teammates and friends and on the other side of this cross-town rivalry," coach Darren Waters said. "But he's been a great fit here and did a great job at tailback and free safety. He's definitely a Hornet now."

Licking Heights was hoping to ride that momentum as it played Gallipolis Gallia Academy on Aug. 31 and prepares to finish non-league play Friday, Sept. 7, at Teays Valley.

"Just like a loss, you have to move on after a win," Waters said. "We want to build on it and it certainly is a much better start than last year when we started 0-2. Still, we have to make sure we come down off this high and turn the page and focus on the next week."

Teays Valley switched from a spread attack to the triple option under first-year coach Steve Evans and appeared to grasp the change easily, as the Vikings scored on their first two possessions, took a 21-0 lead and defeated Williamsport Westfall 49-27 in the opener Aug. 24.

Quarterback Corey Mullens rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another as Teays Valley ran for 377 yards on 56 carries and held the ball for more than 30 minutes. Fullback Nik Schiff (14 carries, 93 yards) led eight Vikings rushers, followed by Mullens (15-82) and Travis Strawser (5-62).

Teays Valley, which played Hilliard Bradley on Aug. 31, did allow 250 yards passing against Westfall.

"They changed coaches and offenses and they've got things rolling over there already," said Waters, whose team beat Teays Valley 44-27 last season. "This is the fourth time we'll play them and we're fortunate to be 3-0 against them. They're traditionally big up front and have good speed in the skill positions and defensive backfield."

The Hornets trailed Watkins Memorial 12-0 in the fourth quarter when Jake Foley delivered a 54-yard punt return. He was stripped of the ball by Brenden Kemp at the goal line, but Carruthers-Kimball recovered in the end zone and C.R. Hall's extra point made it 12-7.

The Hornets had the ball inside Watkins Memorial's 30-yard line five times, including with about five minutes remaining.

"We dropped a pass in the end zone that would've given us the lead on our next-to-last possession," Waters said. "But our defense continued to play great like they did all game except for the opening possession. We forced a punt to give us good field position for our last drive."

The Hornets started the winning drive on the Warriors' 32-yard line.

"We went back to power football and (quarterback Taylor Curtiss) and the kids did a great job managing the clock, and we had one timeout left," Waters said. "We used it before our third-down play and we called two plays then. We tried a quarterback sneak and then gave it to Carruthers-Kimball off tackle."

Carruthers-Kimball had 84 yards on 15 carries.

"We had a number of players who I thought played well," Waters said. "Curtiss showed great poise and leadership and I thought our offensive line, led by our center, Steven Clum, did very well. We had eight-play drives in six of our nine drives and Clum did a good job directing things up front. I thought Foley had some nice catches and nice plays in our kick-return game.

"Our defense held them to two field goals after their opening drive. Aaron Tiller at defensive end was solid, and I think the defensive coaches did a great job teaching them up and preparing them for the option attack. I hope that pays off when we face Teays Valley. You need to be disciplined against the option."

Kemp rushed for 132 yards on 17 carries for Watkins Memorial, but was limited to 31 yards after the first two possessions.

Boys soccer team wins coach's debut

The boys soccer team won Zach Grubb's first game as coach, beating Madison Christian 2-0 on Aug. 25.

"Dennis Kaili and Zach Phillips both played extremely well, but it was a good, total team effort," Grubb said. "We moved the ball well and possessed it throughout. We also played very well defensively."

Kaili and Phillips both scored and Abdi Fatah made six saves.

"We saw a lot of good things, but there were also some areas where we need to improve," Grubb said. "We didn't shoot it well or convert a lot of our chances. We need to capitalize on a better percentage of those chances."

The Hornets' schedule begins to get more difficult when they play Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Granville.

"Granville is one of the tougher challenges on our schedule," Grubb said. "But we wanted to show the kids what the competition will look like next season (in the new Licking County League). That's why we scheduled them and scrimmaged Watkins Memorial earlier. They've got to see what the competition will be next year."