For the second consecutive week, the Grandview Heights High School football team will square off against an MSL-Ohio Division foe that has been dominating opponents.
The Bobcats will go from facing the fast-paced, spread attack of Whitehall to the pounding, old-school ground game of London.
The teams will meet for the final time in league play Friday, Oct. 5, at Grandview. London will compete in the Central Buckeye Conference beginning next season.
"Whitehall likes to spread teams out and get one-on-one (isolation) and man to man, and London likes to pound the ball no matter what," said Darreion Davis, a running back and linebacker whose team dropped to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the MSL-Ohio with a 46-13 loss to the Rams on Sept. 28. "We know that London likes to run a power-I offense, so we have to fill our gaps. We have to watch film, improve and make sure we know the game plan."
The Red Raiders are 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the league. They were ninth in last week's Division IV state poll behind top-ranked St. Marys Memorial, while Grandview was sixth in Division VI behind No. 1 Coldwater.
London has outscored opponents 338-61 for an average score of 56.3-10.2. However, it surrendered its most points Sept. 28 in a 42-27 win over Columbus Academy.
"Two of the biggest teams we play are back to back," coach Jason Peters said. "We're Division VI and Whitehall is Division II and the size of an OCC school playing a little school like us. London is Division IV, but (the Red Raiders) have physically really big kids. Whitehall has about three times the students we do and London has about twice as many. That's definitely challenging. We have to get healthy and get the kids ready to play."
K.J. Price leads the London offense, rushing for 1,307 yards and 21 touchdowns on 85 carries, an average of 15.4 yards per attempt. Brennan Spiess has 692 yards and 12 touchdowns on 44 carries, an average of 15.7 yards per attempt.
Price ran for 337 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries against Academy, as the Red Raiders had all of their 501 yards on the ground. Spiess added 136 yards and two scores on 13 carries.
"London is a big, physical football team and they have athletes who can carry the ball," Peters said. "They have a couple kids that are running the ball really well and averaging a lot of yards per carry.
"The Price kid is a special kind of athlete. We need to play defense and play smart, and if we do those two things we'll give ourselves a chance to be competitive."
The Bobcats led Whitehall 13-7 with 3 minutes, 53 seconds left in the first half on a 10-yard run by Hudson Jump, but the Rams took control after that.
Quarterback Raymell Byrd rushed for 124 yards and three scores on 16 carries and was 5-for-12 passing for 115 yards and three touchdowns as Whitehall improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the league.
"I think we have to look at the positives," said Sam Speaks, a running back and defensive back. "We had two really good touchdown drives and we were throwing (the ball) well in the first half and everyone on defense fought until the end. We take those three positives, take them into (this) week and look at film and see where we can improve."
Jump leads Grandview in rushing with 708 yards and 10 touchdowns on 77 carries. He also leads the defense with 61 tackles, including five for loss, four sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Kyle Casey is 31-for-60 passing for 499 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. Luke Lachey has 22 receptions for 418 yards and six scores.
Other defensive standouts include Joey Bertani (31 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 safety), Davis (48 tackles), Charlie James (2 interceptions) and Alfie Sterneker (48 tackles).