Worthington Kilbourne football coach Mike Edwards couldn't help but repeat the phrase "we're right there" when talking about his team.
The Wolves, who lost at Olentangy Berlin 28-20 on Sept. 27 to fall to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division, were up 20-7 late in the third quarter.
Berlin quarterback Jacob Moeller scored on a 5-yard run with 39 seconds left in the quarter and then connected with Jack Nebraska on a 36-yard touchdown with 5:19 remaining to give the Bears a 21-20 lead. Berlin's Bennett Lawrence sealed the outcome with a 22-yard interception return for a score with 2:06 left.
"These are the bumps that we're taking right now as a football team," Edwards said. "We just didn't get it done. I'm very proud of our kids, though."
A week earlier in a 20-13 loss to Thomas, the Wolves had three second-half possessions trailing by seven points but couldn't score.
"We're still working out those kinks ... we're still learning how to play assignment football throughout an entire game," Edwards said. "This is two weeks in a row where we're right there. We're right there."
The Wolves outgained Berlin 352-284 in total yards. Terrique Gray had 27 carries for 91 yards and a score and Mitchell Tomasek was 15-for-31 passing for 226 yards with two interceptions to lead Kilbourne.
"We made a real conscious effort to establish that run game and keep it going," Edwards said. "We really believe that our running back is our best player on offense. We wanted to simplify the approach for our quarterback and take the pressure off of him.
"We were able establish a really good run game. What we drew up and what we wanted to execute, we executed really well."
Kilbourne will continue OCC-Cardinal play Friday, Oct. 4, at home against Delaware, which lost to Dublin Scioto 29-17 on Sept. 27 and is 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the league.
The Pacers jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter against Scioto and led 17-13 after Laquans Banks-Christian's 42-yard touchdown run early in the second half before the Irish scored 16 unanswered points.
On Sept. 20 against Berlin, Delaware held a 21-10 lead going into the fourth quarter, only to watch the Bears score 22 unanswered points.
Jahi Broussard-Nash led the Pacers against Scioto with 57 yards rushing and a touchdown on seven carries.
"Our kids are improving every week," Edwards said. "(On Sept. 25) ... we had the best practice we've had all year. They are motivated, they are hungry, they are coachable and they are doing the right things."