Although the Worthington Kilbourne and Dublin Jerome high school football teams will be handing in their equipment this weekend, that doesn't mean they don't have something to play for in their season finale at Jerome on Friday, Oct. 26.
"We've had a rough season and it's an important game and would be a huge win for us to beat them heading into the offseason," said Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti, whose team is 1-8 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division after losing 48-10 to Hilliard Bradley on Oct. 19. "What I have loved about this team all year is they don't quit. I've had some teams that finished 3-7 or 4-6 before that have given up after Week 7. That's not the case with this group.
"Plus, we have almost all of our skill-position players coming back and a lot more guys on defense coming back next year than we did this year, so they're still working hard for the future."
Jerome is 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the league. The Celtics are trying to prevent a losing season and send their seniors out on a positive note.
"We know our fate," Jerome coach Bob Gecewich said. "We've been eliminated from playoff contention (in Division I, Region 2), but I expect us to come out and play just as hard this week as we would if we could still make the playoffs. Our seniors get one final chance to play and fortunately it's a home game, so they'll all be playing for our seniors."
The Celtics defeated Olentangy Berlin 37-17 on Oct. 19 for their third win in the past four games after opening 1-4.
Against Berlin, quarterback Ryan Miller was 13-for-20 passing for 138 yards and a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown. Receiver Trey Ballengee had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown and running back Ryan Prochko rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Hayden Schell, a receiver who plays quarterback for the Celtics in the wildcat formation, added 70 yards rushing on 11 carries.
"(Ballengee) is a very good receiver and (Prochko) is a solid runner who isn't flashy but is very effective." Trombetti said. "They're very similar to (Dublin) Scioto and Bradley in terms of spreading you out and getting their playmakers into space and making you tackle. If you miss, they turn into big plays."
Kilbourne, which is led offensively by running back Terrique Gray, quarterback Grayson Timms and receivers Joey McQuade, Tyler Turner and Sam English, had four turnovers against Bradley.
"After Bradley, there's not much difference between the rest of the teams in this league," Gecewich said. "Kilbourne has a nice (running) back and some good players on defense and they never back down. I expect we'll get their best shot."