Whitehall-Yearling High School football coach Rod Lightfoot is confident his team will bounce back from its opening loss when it plays host to Northland on Friday, Aug. 31.

Whitehall lost 19-6 to Westerville Central on Aug. 24 at home.

The Rams drove deep into Central territory three times, but came up empty each time.

Raymell Byrd accounted for Whitehall's points when he returned a kickoff 98 yards in the second quarter to tie the game at 6.

Wayne Blackshear rushed for 105 yards on 17 carries, and Byrd added 108 yards passing and 89 rushing.

"For the last three months, we've been working on how we're going to work through situations that give us some problems and we didn't respond the way we know how and that has to be corrected for us to move forward from tonight," Lightfoot said. "We have to learn from it and we can. These kids are resilient."

Northland opened with a 28-27 loss to visiting Zeeland (Michigan) West on Aug. 24.

The Vikings are led by senior running back John Branham Jr. and junior quarterback Kalil Branham, who are brothers. Branham Jr. rushed for 1,129 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

Whitehall is looking to avenge a 31-28 loss to the Vikings a season ago.

"These first two weeks are a tremendous challenge," Lightfoot said. "Northland is going to be loaded and ready to go against us. They have a tremendous running back and their offensive line is going to come off the ball hard. They'll be ready. They'll throw the ball around as well, so we have to be ready."