Grandview Heights football coach Jason Peters and his team are trying to solve an opponent that has stumped them of late.
Entering their MSL-Ohio Division contest Friday, Sept. 27 at Whitehall, the Bobcats have lost three games in a row to the Rams and five of the last six meetings.
"They've kind of been a thorn in our side for the last few years," said Peters, whose team is 4-0 after winning its league opener against Bexley 31-10 on Sept. 20. "We have struggled against them and haven't played well.
"They've done a good job of being disciplined, knowing their identity and getting good at it. We have to show up ready to go and we need to get better. We need to take care of the little things in order to have a chance to be successful."
The Rams had a banner season last fall, winning the league title at 5-0 and finishing 10-2 overall after losing to Massillon Washington 35-17 in a Division II, Region 7 semifinal. It was their third consecutive playoff berth.
Whitehall, however, isn't having the same success this season and is 1-3 after losing its MSL-Ohio opener to Columbus Academy 38-24 on Sept. 20.
"We have played well and then the wheels come off, giving us some difficult obstacles to overcome," Whitehall coach Rod Lightfoot said. "We didn't help ourselves against Academy, and we can't have mental mistakes get in our way (against Grandview)."
Ni'Kai Cameron was 14-for-29 passing for 162 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Vikings. Charles Miller rushed for 59 yards on six carries, and Christian Gordon had six receptions for 65 yards and one score.
"Offensively is really where they excel," Peters said. "Speed kills sometimes, and it's hard to get ahold of guys.
"They are putting their kids in several positions and they formation you to death. They are not big adjustments for them, but that causes a lot of headaches for us. Rod and his staff have done a good job of letting their kids be themselves and putting them in a position to be successful."
Whitehall trailed Academy 35-8 midway through the third quarter, and its late rally fell short.
"Our kids didn't quit," Lightfoot said. "We did a great job of fighting our way back, and we came up short.
"We can't put ourselves in situations with mental errors and turnovers. All of those things are correctable. We need to play more of a perfect game."
Darreion Davis led the Bobcats against Bexley, rushing for 80 yards on 17 carries and returning a punt 75 yards for a score. Luke Lachey had six receptions for 61 yards and one touchdown, and Kyle Casey was 9-for-16 passing for 74 yards and one score.
Linebacker Glenn Cribbs led the defense with 10 tackles.
"Obviously, Lachey is one of those guys that you always have to keep your eye on," Lightfoot said. "He has a supporting cast that we also will have our hands full against."
Despite being unbeaten, Peters said his team has a long way to go.
"We won (against Bexley), so you have to be happy about that," he said. "We came out slow defensively and then we got things going. We fed off that and our return game and special teams were big for us. We have to keep getting better."