A scheduling quirk helped the Central Crossing High School football team get ahead on scouting each of its first two opponents.
When Marion-Franklin visited Beechcroft for a scrimmage Aug. 15, the Comets were more focused on the Red Devils, to whom they lost 22-20 to open the season Aug. 24, but they also studied the Cougars in preparation for their home opener Friday, Aug. 31.
"It was pretty convenient for us," coach Trevor White said. "We were looking a little bit more at Marion-Franklin because that's who we were playing first, but it was a good way to get a feel for both teams, stuff you can't necessarily tell from film."
Central Crossing hopes to put four solid quarters together this week, something it struggled to do against Marion-Franklin. The Red Devils scored all of their points in the second quarter, when Yozonne Roberts caught a 20-yard touchdown pass and scored on a 74-yard punt return and Ke'zion Brown threw a 20-yard score to Deonte' Wade.
Pierre France rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries to lead the Comets, who got within two points with four minutes to play when Anthony Lowe caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Deyarmon. France was tackled short of the goal line on the would-be game-tying two-point conversion try.
Deyarmon completed two of seven passes for 55 yards and was intercepted twice.
Running back Tahjon Francis carried Beechcroft to a 27-10 win over Dayton Ponitz Tech on Aug. 24. Francis scored three touchdowns, on runs of 7 and 3 yards and a 26-yard catch from quarterback DeShannon Butler.
The Cougars run a spread offense similar to that of Marion-Franklin under first-year coach Charles Gibson, although they emphasize the run more than the Red Devils.
"They're athletic and they have a couple very good defensive players. Their defense will get after you," White said. "They're a little thinner than Marion-Franklin, but they have quite a bit of experience back. It will be a good test."
White coached Beechcroft for three seasons, going 28-7 from 2014-16 and leading the Cougars to playoff appearances in his final two years before leaving for Central Crossing. White took over at Beechcroft after nearby Brookhaven, where he had coached from 2011-13, closed.
Central Crossing and Beechcroft split their only two previous meetings, with the Comets losing 26-7 in 2014 before winning 28-6 the next year on the way to their second consecutive playoff appearance.