The Worthington Kilbourne High School football team heads into Week 3 still searching for its first victory after losing a pair of tightly contested games.
The Wolves, who fell to Olentangy Orange 27-26 on Aug. 24 and Westerville South 27-21 in double overtime on Aug. 31, will look to get in the win column when they travel to Groveport on Friday, Sept. 7.
The Cruisers are 1-1 and are coming off a 28-14 victory over Hamilton Township on Aug. 30 in the Obetz Bowl at Fortress Obetz. The win ended a 12-game losing streak dating to Week 9 of the 2016 season.
Against Orange, Kilbourne scored late in the fourth quarter to cut its deficit to one point but elected to go for two points instead of attempting a game-tying extra point, and its run on the two-point conversion attempt failed.
Then against South, neither team scored in the first overtime as the Wolves missed a 34-yard field-goal attempt. In the second overtime, the Wildcats' Taveon Falls scored on a 1-yard run for the game-winner.
Running back Elijah Young rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown against Orange and ran for 132 yards and two scores against South, while quarterback Grayson Timms threw for two touchdowns against the Pioneers.
"The biggest thing was how proud I was that they kept competing and kept fighting," coach Vince Trombetti said of the loss to Orange. "Last year, if we got down, we were done. We were down 14-0 at the half (against Orange) and were able to put up a touchdown to make it a ballgame. I'm very pleased with the way we're moving the ball on offense."
The Pioneers, however, produced 300 yards of offense, including 242 on the ground.
"Offense is a strength of our team, and the mistakes we made on defense (against Orange) were just big-play things," Trombetti said. "You make a mistake on offense and it's first-and-10 or first-and-15. But on defense, if you make a mistake, you might be lining up for the extra point."
Against Hamilton Township, Groveport proved that its run defense could be one of its strengths going forward.
Jasiyah Robinson forced a fumble that was picked up by Darrell Smoot with 3 minutes, 9 seconds remaining to complement a defensive unit that had two tackles for loss by Keimare Burnett and numerous other tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
"(The defense is) playing lights out, and we've got a big test next week against Kilbourne," Cruisers coach Bryan Schoonover said. "We'll enjoy this one. It's been a long time."
The Cruisers, who opened with a 10-7 loss to Westerville North on Aug. 24, limited the Rangers to 19 yards of second-half offense.