A trend has emerged for the Westerville North football team that coach Bryan Johnson hopes comes to an end this week.
The Warriors have fallen behind by 14 points early in each of their first two games, both losses.
North trailed 21-0 midway through the second quarter Sept. 6 on the way to a 24-14 home loss to Thomas Worthington, on the heels of turnovers helping the Warriors dig an early hole in a season-opening 31-6 loss at Groveport on Aug. 30.
The caliber of competition does not appear to get any easier for North on Friday, Sept. 13, when it plays host to a Mansfield Senior team that has started 2-0 with the help of a few Division I college recruits.
"It's tough to play from behind with the teams we have on our schedule," Johnson said. "We've had too many turnovers and we're not sustaining anything right now on offense. We can't give teams a two-touchdown lead and expect to always chip our way back into the game. We need to run more plays and put together better possessions."
Auri Dover threw touchdown passes of 4 yards to Charles Perkins and 11 yards to Jordan Rhodes for North's only scores against Thomas.
Mansfield routed visiting Cleveland John Hay 41-0 on Sept. 6.
Two of Michigan State commit Angelo Grose's three catches were for touchdowns of 10 and 22 yards, and he also returned a punt 71 yards for a score early in the second quarter.
The Tygers forced a fumble on John Hay's first possession and finished with a 251-88 advantage in total yards.
Grose played quarterback last year as a junior in addition to wide receiver and slot receiver and also made 58 tackles and three interceptions as a defensive back.
Lineman Anthony Hawkins is a Bowling Green commit. Tight end/defensive Clay Caudill has committed to Toledo.
"They're big, fast and physical. They're as athletic a team as Groveport, maybe more so," Johnson said. "They'll spread us out on offense and they have a three- or four-man front that will press us most of the time."
North is trying to avoid its first 0-3 start since going winless in 2015.