The Grandview Heights football team is in the Division VI, Region 24 playoff hunt entering its regular-season finale, but coach Jason Peters doesn't want his team focusing on that.
According to joeeitel.com, the Bobcats will make their second consecutive postseason appearance with a victory against Ready on Friday, Nov. 1, at Fortress Obetz. The Silver Knights are 4-5 after defeating Bexley 35-14 on Oct. 25.
"It's back to the philosophy of being 1-0 this week, regardless of what happens with the playoffs," said Peters, whose team is 6-3 overall. "We have to go out and take care of business against Ready.
"We have to go to their place, and we have to do what we need to do. We need to man up and play some hard-nosed, physical football on Friday night."
The Bobcats were projected to be fifth in Region 24 this week. The top eight teams qualify for the postseason and the top four play host to first-round games.
"We have to focus on Ready, which is our first priority," two-way lineman Joey Bertani said. "We play them tough every year. They are a big, physical team that will come right at us."
The Knights are led by running back Jack Foley and quarterback Darius Parham. Foley rushed for 1,640 yards and 17 touchdowns on 265 carries last fall, but has been limited by injuries in his senior season. The 5-foot-7, 165-pounder missed three games in September and has 775 yards and six touchdowns on 143 carries. He ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries against Bexley.
Parham missed a 20-10 loss to Whitehall on Oct. 18, but the junior has rushed for 642 yards and nine touchdowns on 109 carries. He also is for 51-for-88 passing for 625 yards with five touchdowns and nine interceptions. Against Bexley, the 6-3, 170-pounder rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries and was 5-for-9 passing for 71 yards with one interception.
"We have to stop their quarterback and running back," Peters said. "That's what makes their offense go. They struggled when the quarterback wasn't playing and they struggled when Foley was out early, but those two dudes are very dynamic."
Grandview had a two-game winning streak snapped when it lost to Columbus Academy 28-7 on Oct. 25 to finish 3-3 in the MSL-Ohio Division.
"We have to take advantage of our opportunities when we have them," Peters said. "We were in the red zone twice in the first half, and it could have very easily been 21-7 or 21-14 us at the half, but we didn't take advantage of those opportunities.
"We had a fourth-down pass knocked down that was going to a wide-open Luke (Lachey). We also threw a fade to Luke that was just a little too far inside, and their corner made a play and picked it. On both plays, if Luke gets his hands on the ball, it's a touchdown. We have to make plays, especially in the red zone. We can't walk away with no points in the red zone."
Charlie James has stepped in at quarterback for Kyle Casey, who is nursing an elbow injury aggravated in a 42-7 league loss to Harvest Prep on Oct. 4. Peters said Casey's return is being determined week to week.
James led the Bobcats with 59 yards rushing on nine carries, including a 2-yard touchdown, against the Vikings. He was 8-for-15 passing for 112 yards with two interceptions.
"Charlie is playing his butt off and he's doing everything we ask of him," Peters said. "He gives us a chance. He played well enough for us to win (against Academy), but we just didn't make plays around him. He doesn't throw the ball as well as Kyle, but he does a lot for us in the run game."