Believing his kickoff-return unit was in need of a tweak, Grandview Heights High School football coach Jason Peters made a suggestion and came away looking like a genius.
Peters wanted his kickoff returners to use the middle of the field. In the Bobcats' first week implementing the scheme, they scored twice in a 46-19 victory over Liberty Union on Oct. 12 in MSL-Ohio Division play.
"It was an excellent decision to go with the middle return," Peters said with a smile. "I may have suggested it, maybe in an aggressive tone.
"We had a side return, and teams were picking up on it and kicking away from it. We decided to put in a middle return to take care of that, and it worked for us."
Grandview, which is 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the league, has four kickoff returns for touchdowns this season. Trey Cook had an 88-yard return in the first quarter against the Lions, and Luke Lachey took the second-half kickoff back 84 yards for a score.
"It was wide open for us going down the middle," said Lachey, who also had two receptions for 56 yards. "Instead of going left, we were going up the middle, and it was perfect. I don't think I was touched going down the field."
Cook had four catches for 23 yards to go with his return.
"We changed it up this week to a middle kickoff return," he said. "I got the ball at about the 12-yard line and I saw the seam. Luke Lachey and Jake Hamric were running up there in front of me. I just followed their blocks ... and got past everyone."
The other two kickoff returns came Sept. 7 in a 70-26 win over Zanesville Rosecrans. Charlie James had the first and Brian Collier had the other with both going for 60 yards in the third quarter.
"It's exciting (to have kickoff returns for scores because) it really picks up the game a lot and gives us a lot of momentum," said James, who also had a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Bishops. "Special teams are very important. That's huge if we have good kickoff returns. It's big for field position."
The Bobcats will look to continue the special-teams trend Friday, Oct. 19, at Logan Elm. The Braves are 1-7 after losing to Fairfield Union 34-21 on Oct. 12.
"They play a tough schedule and last year they played a hard, physical football game," said Peters, whose team defeated Logan Elm 28-0 last fall. "We have to get out there and get ready to go."
Quarterback Conner Robinson led Logan Elm against Fairfield Union, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Logan Watson had three catches for 35 yards.
The Braves also had a kickoff return for a score -- Donte Dryden for 83 yards -- against the Falcons.
"They will ground and pound and throw a little bit," James said. "They will fight hard and will be a good test for us."
Hudson Jump had 172 yards rushing and one touchdown on 17 carries against Liberty Union. He leads the Bobcats with 883 yards and 11 touchdowns on 108 carries.
Kyle Casey is 49-for-86 passing for 701 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. Lachey has 29 catches for 523 yards and seven touchdowns, and Cook has 15 receptions for 162 yards and one score.
Defensively, James has three interceptions and Cook and Lachey both have two. Jump leads the team in tackles (80), tackles for loss (5), sacks (4), fumble recoveries (3) and forced fumbles (3).
The Bobcats were projected to be seventh in the Division VI, Region 23 computer ratings this week. The top eight teams in each region advance to the postseason and the top four play host to first-round games.