The Grove City Christian football team enters its home game against Dayton Jefferson Township on Friday, Sept. 13, in search of a much-needed win.

The Eagles are looking to bounce back from a pair of lopsided losses to begin the season after falling to Middletown Christian 40-6 on Aug. 31 and New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic 41-7 on Sept. 6.

"It's going to be a process and we know we're young, especially our line is pretty young," junior Christian Lautenschleger said. "We have a lot of young people on our team. The coaches believe in us and as long as we keep working in the years to come, we'll be good and we'll be great."

The Broncos also are 0-2. They compete in Division VII, Region 28 while the Eagles are in Division VII, Region 27.

"They have players who can give us some trouble," coach Hank Patterson said.

The teams have met in each of the past two seasons, with the Eagles winning 43-0 last year and 45-6 in 2017. Jefferson Township won the previous meeting before that 44-12 in 2010.

The Broncos finished 1-9 last season, scoring 7.2 points per game and allowing an average of 40.8. They snapped a 30-game losing streak with a 20-16 win over Cincinnati Hillcrest Academy in the season finale last fall.

"I know it's going to be a tough game, but I feel like if we do what we do, we can get this game," Lautenschleger said. "If we can get the win, it's going to boost (the young players') confidence even more."

Against Tuscarawas Central Catholic, sophomore quarterback Jayden Hanks passed for 84 yards and a touchdown.

"It was a really good experience for Jayden," said Lautenschleger, who rushed for 31 yards on 19 carries. "He didn't spend much time at quarterback last year because we had Brett (Baker). This is going to help him a lot and develop him into a better quarterback and have better decision-making from knowing when to pass and knowing when to run."

Junior wide receiver Jake Bapst had four receptions for 39 yards.

"We have a lot of new freshman linemen and new people in other positions," Patterson said. "It's not an excuse. We could have probably played a little bit better, but the team from Tuscarawas had experienced guys."

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