Canal Winchester High School football coach Josh Stratton wasted little time turning his team's attention to its rivalry game at Groveport on Friday, Oct. 6.
"In my postgame speech, I didn't even mention New Albany. It was all about Groveport and I want my guys to be the same way," Stratton said of a 23-3 loss to the Eagles in the Indians' OCC-Capital Division opener Sept. 29. "I love rivalries. It's the best part of sports. It's extra motivation to play a little angry during the week."
Canal Winchester fell to 3-3 overall. That same night, the Cruisers lost 44-20 at Franklin Heights to fall to 0-6 overall and 0-1 in the league.
Although the Indians, who are 3-3 overall, were outgained just 298-254 in total yards by the Eagles and benefited from the game's only two turnovers, the offense was unable to gain traction. Quarterback Jack Beeler completed five of nine passes for 68 yards, Tanner Conley rushed for 119 yards on 27 carries and David Kajuna caught two passes for 48 yards.
Trevor Thompson's 43-yard field goal halfway through the third quarter provided Canal Winchester's only points.
According to Stratton, linebacker Darren Davis had 20 tackles against New Albany and lineman Angelo Hubbard added 17, including seven for loss and 1 ? sacks.
Groveport running back Emmanuel Anthony rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries against Franklin Heights, and quarterback Colin Rice completed six of 14 passes for 84 yards and threw one interception.
The Cruisers have been outscored 199-61 this year and have lost all but one game by more than 20 points, the exception being a 21-14 loss to Hamilton Township on Aug. 31.
Groveport leads the all-time series 17-11, including a 25-17 win over the Indians last year. The teams did not play each other from 1965-2013.
The Cruisers' 0-6 start is their worst since 2013, when they started with that same record before defeating Newark 52-35. Groveport finished 1-9 that year.
"They have so many athletes that we will have to tackle well," Stratton said. "Their defensive line is probably their strength, so we have to play well up front. We have our work cut out for us."