Two teams that have endured a difficult loss this season will meet Friday, Oct. 2, when the Reynoldsburg High School football team visits Gahanna.

Two teams that have endured a difficult loss this season will meet Friday, Oct. 2, when the Reynoldsburg High School football team visits Gahanna.

While the Lions have recovered from a 28-21 overtime loss to Westerville Central on Aug. 28 to win four in a row, the Raiders' resolve will be tested in a new way after they couldn't hang on to an 11-point lead and lost 29-21 on Sept. 25 at Pickerington Central.

Reynoldsburg is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division.

Gahanna beat Newark 45-7 on Sept. 25 and is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the league.

"When it was winning time, we didn't make the winning plays," Raiders coach Buddy White said. "We've got five more (regular-season games) and we can't let this (loss to Central) cause us to lose the next one."

Senior running back Cameron Young rushed for 238 yards and one touchdown, helping the Raiders build a 21-10 lead against the Tigers.

Central's Devon McMillin made a 52-yard field goal with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left to give the Tigers a 22-21 lead.

On the third play of Reynoldsburg's ensuing drive, quarterback Nathan Barko was hit by Kieren Douglas and Drew Hawley, and Scott Pierce picked up the loose ball and ran 8 yards into the end zone to make it 29-21.

The Raiders' offense could face its toughest task to date against a Gahanna defensive front seven that features senior linemen Jonathon Cooper and Austin Torr, junior linebacker Cael Baker and senior linebacker Derek Marcum. Senior defensive back Jake Chobany has been another standout.

"That's kind of been our thing, that we've had a stellar front seven," Lions coach Bruce Ward said. "Groveport's been averaging 300 yards and we only gave them 60 (in a 30-3 win Sept. 18)."

Gahanna's offense took a step forward against Newark as senior quarterback Mason Blancett completed 14 of 20 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Chobany had six catches for 179 yards and two scores.

They'll be tested by a Reynoldsburg defense led by senior lineman Mark Gooden, a Northwestern recruit who had four tackles for loss against Central.

"Just looking at some film of Reynoldsburg, they're better," Ward said. "Everyone in our division has got athletes."

Gravatt steps down as baseball coach

Rob Gravatt took a step toward keeping a promise from several years ago when he recently stepped down as baseball coach.

A few months before beginning his first season as Rey-noldsburg's coach in 2010, Gravatt told his father, Lawrence Gravatt, that he'd one day get a doctorate in education.

His father died Feb. 11, 2010.

"I've been at Reynoldsburg coaching in some capacity for (several years) and I've had some great times out there," Gravatt said. "It wasn't an easy decision, but I knew it would be tough to be a full-time teacher and go back to college. This is a promise I made for my dad before he passed away."

Under Gravatt, the Raiders won 73 games, including going 19-11 during his first season and 16-11 in 2011. They were Division I district runners-up both of those years.

Last spring, Reynoldsburg went 4-21.

Gravatt, who has been a teacher at Independence for 18 years, served as an assistant under former coach Dave Starling from 2003-09. Starling, who won 398 games as the Raiders' coach, stepped down and recommended Gravatt for the job.

Starling was approved as New Albany's baseball coach Sept. 28, and Gravatt is planning to be an assistant with the Eagles.

Gravatt also had stints as an assistant at Bexley and as head coach at Walnut Ridge.

"One of the first sports I tried to play was soccer when I was in second grade," Gravatt said. "My dad says, 'You suck at soccer. Why not try baseball?' My dad was a math teacher and I'm a math teacher. Hopefully he's looking down on me smiling."

Girls soccer team making progress

Although it lost its next two games after snapping a six-game losing streak, the girls soccer team's offensive improvement has continued.

The Raiders had a season-high goal total in a 4-1 win Sept. 19 over Dresden Tri-Valley and followed with losses to Pickerington North (3-1 on Sept. 21) and Delaware (3-2 on Sept. 23).

Over its first seven games, Reynoldsburg scored only three goals.

The Raiders were 2-8 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Lancaster on Sept. 29.

"We're not a bad team; we just don't score enough goals yet," coach Jimmy Stevens said. "We've had some games where you look at the tape and we played well 85 to 90 percent of the time. It's the other times that we're working on.

"We're making progress. Our challenge is that we play a little too direct and we don't have the kind of target player that that works well with. We need to play possession."

The Raiders recently learned that they'll be without junior defender Tessa Hodnett for the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

To help create more scoring, Stevens moved senior Ceri Goff from midfielder to forward.

"The teams we have trouble with are the ones that have a lot of depth," Stevens said. "I've got four freshmen starting and some of them should probably be (junior varsity) players. They're solid customers, but we're just not there yet in terms of depth."

Tennis, golf postseasons begin

The girls tennis and boys golf teams are preparing for their postseasons.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, and Saturday, Oct. 3, the tennis team will play host to a Division I sectional tournament.

Junior Naomi Pearce, sophomore Mahogany Sinethavisouk and freshman Alexa Matan will play singles and the teams of seniors Jadelyn Cheng and Ciara Boykins and freshmen Sarah Hoffman and Katelyn Whetsel will play doubles.

In golf, the Raiders are seeded 33rd of 42 teams in the district and will compete in the Darby Creek sectional Tuesday, Oct. 6.