Coach Jason Peters has an offensive perspective on the strong play of the Grandview Heights High School football team's defense early this season.
The Bobcats shut out City League opponents Centennial (27-0 on Aug. 24) and Africentric (42-0 on Aug. 31) before crushing Zanesville Rosecrans 70-26 on Sept. 7. They will face their toughest challenge to date Friday, Sept. 14, at home against Ready.
"(The play of the defense) makes it a heck of a lot easier on the offense," Peters said. "If the defense is getting the ball back for us, that's a big help. They are getting the ball back for us around (our) 40(-yard line) and when you do that, your chances of scoring increase dramatically."
The Bobcats are in their second season running the four-man front scheme of defensive coordinator Mike Lanza, who said familiarity has set in for the players.
"We're running the same defense as we did last year and for most of our players, it's their second year in the system," Lanza said. "They understand what we are doing a little better and they are making adjustments on the field. It makes a big difference."
The Bobcats had forced two fumbles -- recoveries by Nico Card and Hudson Jump -- through two games. They limited Africentric to 35 total yards, with only three through the air, and in the first two games surrendered just 76 passing yards.
"We have been working as a team and building our wall on defense," said junior linebacker Alfie Sterneker, who had a team-leading 15 tackles through two games. "We have some (standout) players on defense. We're pretty much all coming back and know what to do. Coach Lanza has been coaching us up a lot and telling us some secrets to the game."
After playing at linebacker since he was a freshman, Jump moved to the defensive line for his senior season. He had 12 tackles and one sack through two games.
"I love it," Jump said of moving to the line. "It's a lot like wrestling because you can be hands on right away. (Playing on the) defensive line you get the push instead of (the offensive players) coming at you."
Jump won the Division III state wrestling championship at 195 pounds in March. Peters said Jump's wrestling background has made the transition to the defensive line much easier.
"That (move) has helped Hudson do the things that he does well," Peters said. "It lets him go up and use his hands and get leverage. Now he can do that and make big plays for us."
Lanza said the hard work in practice is paying off. The players are paying attention and implementing the schemes during games.
"They are playing well as a unit and running to the football," Lanza said. "They are playing together as 11 men out there. There's no one out there trying to be out there making a name for himself. They do their jobs and work together. It's refreshing to watch."
Jump said the players not only jell as a unit on the field, but the strong bond between teammates is an added ingredient to the success.
"It's not even just on the football field," he said. "We have a close-knit group of guys and it shows. We're ready to step it up as the season moves on."
Against Rosecrans, the Bobcats led 29-0 in the second quarter before the Bishops scored on a fumble recovery. They were ahead 36-6 by the time Rosecrans scored the first offensive touchdown against Grandview this season, a 60-yard run by Carter Dosch on the first play of the second half.
Jump rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries, and Luke Lachey caught three passes for 132 yards and two scores. Charlie James scored on an 85-yard kickoff return and a 30-yard interception return, and Brian Collier scored on an 84-yard kickoff return.
Ready was 1-2 after losing to Hartley 49-19 on Sept. 7. The Silver Knights beat the Bobcats 24-22 last season behind 179 yards rushing and one touchdown from running back Jack Foley.
Boys soccer team falls in league opener
The boys soccer team was stunned by Whitehall in its MSL-Ohio Division opener, losing 3-1 on Sept. 5.
The Bobcats had won the five previous meetings -- four by shutout -- including 7-0 last season. In those contests, Grandview outscored Whitehall 27-1 with the only goal for the Rams coming in an 8-1 loss in 2014.
Manny Day scored against Whitehall for the Bobcats, who were 4-2 before playing Worthington Christian on Sept. 10 in league action.
Grandview rebounded with a 4-0 win over Centennial on Sept. 8 as Day scored three times and goalkeeper Lance Trares had seven saves.
Girls soccer team gets back on track
After losing its first two contests, the girls soccer team rebounded and was 2-2-1 overall before playing Fairbanks on Sept. 10.
The Bobcats are 1-0-1 in the MSL-Ohio after playing Worthington Christian to a scoreless tie Aug. 29 and defeating Whitehall 12-0 on Sept. 5. Tayler Pierce and Signe Slaughter both had two goals against the Rams.
Pierce scored twice and goalie Ruby Gentile had two saves as Grandview defeated Mansfield Christian 3-2 on Sept. 1.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 15 -- Bobcat Invitational at Camp Bobcat in Chillicothe
Sept. 17 -- West Jefferson at National Road
Sept. 18 -- MSL postseason tournament at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 15 -- At Grove City
*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Bexley
*Sept. 15 -- Home vs. Zanesville Rosecrans
Sept. 13 -- At Central Crossing
Sept. 15 -- Grandview Invitational
Sept. 18 -- Whetstone at Park of Roses
*Sept. 13 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy
Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Linden-McKinley
Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Shekinah Christian