Since finishing 6-4 in 2010, the Groveport Madison High School football team hasn't won four games in a row, hasn't opened 4-0 and hasn't won more than three games in a season.

Since finishing 6-4 in 2010, the Groveport Madison High School football team hasn't won four games in a row, hasn't opened 4-0 and hasn't won more than three games in a season.

The Cruisers have the opportunity to accomplish all three feats Friday, Sept. 18, when they play host to Gahanna in the OCC-Ohio Division opener for both teams. But coach Bryan Schoonover doesn't want his players dwelling on those stats.

"We're not concerned with those types of things," Schoonover said. "We need every ounce of our focus on Gahanna this week because they're a different-level team than we've played thus far. We told the kids that we've got to raise our level of play this week, not just because it's a league game, but because Gahanna has a special team."

On Sept. 11, Groveport defeated Westerville North 28-7 to move to 3-0 and Gahanna beat Brantford (Ontario) St. John's College 50-0 to improve to 2-1. The Lions opened with a 28-21 overtime loss to undefeated Westerville Central on Aug. 28 and defeated Westerville South 20-13 on Sept. 4.

The Lions' offense includes quarterback Mason Blancett, running back Derek Marcum, wide receivers Jake Chobany and Tremayne Smith and tight end Jonathon Cooper (6-foot-4, 235 pounds).

Blancett ran for a touchdown and threw to Smith for another against South.

Cooper, a senior, also is a standout at defensive end and has committed to Ohio State.

"They're big, fast and have talent all over the field. ... They're extremely well-coached, very disciplined. They're a real impressive football team," Schoonover said.

Schoonover was pleased with the improved play of his offensive line against North. The Cruisers rushed for 378 yards, including 214 in the second half. Quarterback Jacob Huffman ran for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine carries after entering the game in the second quarter.

"I thought our offensive line was fantastic and Jacob gave us a spark when he went in," Schoonover said. "But I thought (running backs) Brymar Payne, Dezuan Allen and Corey Newman all ran well. (Wide receiver) Tre Charles-Martin did a great job blocking and sealing the edge."

Newman and Allen both scored on 1-yard runs.

Groveport also controlled the line of scrimmage on defense, registering five sacks.

"We've been steady on defense all year," Schoonover said. "(Cornerback) C.J. Towns had an interception, (Lineman) Malik Jolly returned a fumble 70 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run and we pressured their quarterback all night."

Recording sacks were Jolly, linemen Javon Little and Ronrico Richards, linebacker Da'Quan Mayle and safety Kyle Nester.

"We're not real big, so we've got to find ways to use our quickness by overloading a side or bring pressure from different angles," Schoonover said. "But it's going to be tough against Gahanna, so we've got to have a great week of preparation."