For the first time in almost two years, the Grove City football team walked off the field a winner.
To be precise, the Dawgs high-fived, hugged, shed a few tears and leapt for joy Sept. 13 after an 18-15 win at crosstown rival Central Crossing broke a 17-game losing streak.
Implementing its wing-T offense for most of the night, Grove City amassed 229 of its 261 yards on the ground, held the ball for almost 31 minutes and withstood the Comets’ late comeback bid to earn their first win since Sept. 22, 2017, when the Dawgs defeated Franklin Heights 55-23.
Grove City improved to 1-2, while Central Crossing dropped to 1-2.
“This is one of the best feelings I’ve had in a long time. I don’t know how to describe it. It should have happened a long time ago, but we finished it (Sept. 13),” said Grove City running back Jevin Yors, who rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. “We were able to wear the defense out. That’s what really did it.”
Cole Crager led Grove City’s ground game with 101 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. It was the Dawgs’ first victory over the Comets in the four-year history of the rivalry.
“We had some adversity, but the way we ran the football tonight, I’m so proud. That’s how we took control,” Grove City coach Tennyson Varney said. “I just believe in doing whatever your kids can do. We have to put them in the best position to win. One of our goals is to average better than 3.5 yards per carry and we did (averaging 4.4 per carry). That way, we can eat the clock and play some football.”
Crager scored from 1 yard out in the first quarter to give Grove City a 7-0 lead.
Central Crossing took the lead on the first play of the second quarter, when Logan Green threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tristen Needham and then, on a botched snap on the extra-point attempt, Drew DeYarmon tossed to Needham for the two-point conversion to make it 8-7.
Yors scored with 2:51 left until halftime to give Grove City the lead for good.
Tyler Lantzy’s 25-yard field goal with 2:51 left ultimately provided the game-winning points.
Green threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Coles with 20 seconds left to make it 18-15, but Grove City recovered the ensuing onside kick.
“(Grove City) was a hungry, determined team that executed when they needed to,” Comets coach Trevor White said. “Our consistency is just not there on either side of the ball.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final GROVE CITY 7 8 0 3 18 CENTRAL CROSSING
0 8 0 7 15
GC—Crager 7 run (Lantzey kick)
CC—Needham 9 pass from Green (Needham pass from DeYarmon)
GC—Yors 5 run (Crager run)
GC—Lantzey 25 FG
CC—Coles 8 pass from Green (Terrell kick)