A pair of defending league champions will match up when the Beechcroft High School football team travels Friday, Sept. 2, to Marion-Franklin for a non-league meeting of City programs.

A pair of defending league champions will match up when the Beechcroft High School football team travels Friday, Sept. 2, to Marion-Franklin for a non-league meeting of City programs.

The Cougars scored with 6 minutes, 57 seconds left in last year's matchup to win 7-0.

Last season's meeting was the first since the Red Devils won 34-28 in two overtimes in the 2008 playoffs in what was former longtime Beechcroft coach Tom Dunlap's final game.

Cougars coach Trevor White is anxious to see what his team can do at the beginning of this season after losing 17 players from a year ago to graduation, including quarterback Macyah Fleming and wide receiver and defensive back Rodell Rahmaan, who hooked up through the air for the only score in last year's game against Marion-Franklin.

Beechcroft opened Aug. 26 at home by rallying to beat Akron Buchtel 13-7. That same night, Marion-Franklin began its season by losing to Dresden Tri-Valley 27-7.

"We've got to be ready to go right out of the gate," White said.

"We've got a tough non-league schedule. We play two of the best teams in the City-South in weeks 2 and 3."

Beechcroft is led offensively by senior quarterback Kyle Barrett, who was the backup last season but started in the first round of the Division III, Region 9 playoffs when his team lost to Zanesville 13-7 to finish 7-3.

While the Cougars won the City League-North last season, Marion-Franklin shared the City-South title with Eastmoor Academy and Walnut Ridge.

The Red Devils, who also finished 7-3 last year, lost many of their skill-position players but returned a talented junior offensive lineman in Travis Geiger.

City teams getting set for rematches

Nine City teams in addition to Beechcroft and Marion-Franklin will play rematches from last season on Friday, Sept. 2.

Among those matchups is Northland at Whitehall, which saw the Vikings win 21-14 last year as both teams finished 6-4.

Northland opened Aug. 26 by beating Independence 38-24. That same night, the Rams beat Ready 39-25.

Ready's matchup this week is against Briggs at Upper Arlington. Last year, the Bruins missed three extra points and two two-point conversions in a 34-33 loss to the Silver Knights.

Briggs opened Aug. 26 with a 27-6 win over Linden-McKinley, which travels to Columbus Academy this week looking to avenge a 23-0 loss to the Vikings last season.

The other rematches this week are Centennial at West, East at Liberty Union, Eastmoor at Granville, South at Groveport and Westland at Mifflin.

Eastmoor lost to the Blue Aces 11-8 last season and went on to finish 7-3 and place ninth in Division III, Region 9.

Also looking to avenge losses from a year ago are East (lost to Liberty Union 29-26), Mifflin (lost to Westland 47-6), South (lost to Groveport 42-0) and West (lost to Centennial 34-14).

Other matchups Sept. 2 involving City teams are Africentric at Grandview, Walnut Ridge at Watkins Memorial and Buckeye Valley at Whetstone.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

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