The Grove City High School football team will face another stern test in OCC-Ohio Division play when it squares off against Pickerington North on Friday, Oct. 6, at home.
The Dawgs fell to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in the league with a 28-14 loss at Lancaster on Sept. 29, while the Panthers improved to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Ohio with a 35-7 win over visiting Reynoldsburg that same night.
Grove City will face a spread offense led by senior quarterback Jimmy Weirick, who rushed for 188 yards and one touchdown and passed for 162 yards and three scores against Reynoldsburg.
One of his favorite targets, Ty Wiley, had touchdown catches of 29 and 15 yards.
For the season, Weirick has passed for 1,201 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 449 yards and seven scores.
"They have a great quarterback, Jimmy Weirick, obviously he's a factor," Grove City running back and linebacker D.J. Gatewood said. "Tyrik Carter is really good (at wide receiver and defensive back), and they have a great defense. They're a really solid team, so it will be a tough one."
The Panthers have won three consecutive games in the series, with the Dawgs' last win coming in 2013 by a score of 34-24.
"We have to have a great week of practice and we have to start the game fast," Gatewood said. "We have to start the game the right way."
Grove City and Lancaster were tied at 14 in the second quarter. Devin Dukes rushed for 133 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown in the second, to lead the Dawgs.
Grove City had a 381-291 advantage in total yards.
"It was a tough loss," Gatewood said. "We're right there. We're not going to be successful until we learn to do the little things right."
In four games since being ruled eligible by the Ohio High School Athletic Association after transferring from Ready, Dukes has rushed for 694 yards and eight touchdowns on 115 carries.