On a night when the Groveport Madison football team recorded its most lopsided win in almost 10 years, Cruisers coach Bryan Schoonover devoted much of his postgame chat Sept. 5 to reminding his players to improve their practice habits and raise their expectations after their first 2-0 start since 2015.

At the same time, Schoonover emphasized how thrilled he was with a 56-0 rout of Hamilton Township at Fortress Obetz in which the Cruisers led 14-0 after their first offensive play.

“We talk every day about just taking care of the day and getting better every day,” Schoonover said. “Sometimes, it just happens that you take the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, defensively you’re really going well and everything goes in our direction. There’s a lot of work to be done, but things fell our way here.”

Groveport’s first two touches resulted in touchdowns.

John Motton returned the opening kickoff 74 yards for a score, and Jalil Underdown caught an 85-yard touchdown pass from Colin Rice on the Cruisers’ first play from scrimmage.

“It was supposed to be a post play, but we turned it into a drag play. Once I got the ball, all I saw was open field,” said Underdown, a slotback who rushed for a 23-yard touchdown on Groveport’s next possession and, in addition to his only catch, finished with 35 yards on five carries. “We’re just progressing and getting better day by day. We definitely thought of this as a statement game.”

Jashaun McGraw ran for 108 yards and touchdowns of 40, 5 and 12 yards on 13 carries for Groveport, which led 35-0 at halftime en route to its largest margin of victory since routing Newark 76-7 on Oct. 2, 2009.

The Cruisers, who visit Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 13, have outscored their first two opponents 87-6.

Hamilton Township, which ran only six plays in Groveport territory, fell to 0-2.

“We got stung early, but that should have been a wake-up call to our guys,” Rangers coach Joe Savino said. “Instead of that, we turned it into a negative. It will take more mental toughness to overcome things like that.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

==========

Team 1 2 3 4 Final HAMILTON TOWNSHIP 0 0 0 0 0 GROVEPORT 21 14 14 7 56

G—Motton 74 kickoff return (Snyder kick)

G—Underdown 85 pass from Rice (Snyder kick)

G—Underdown 23 run (Snyder kick)

G—McGraw 40 run (Snyder kick)

G—McGraw 5 run (Snyder kick)

G—McGraw 12 run (Snyder kick)

G—Wilburn 26 fumble recovery (Snyder kick)

G—Coleman 37 run (Snyder kick)