Grove City football coach Tennyson Varney knows his team's record again was below program standards, but he remains confident the Dawgs soon will return to winning form.

The Dawgs finished 1-9 overall and went 0-5 in the OCC-Ohio Division to place sixth behind champion Pickerington Central (5-0).

"I couldn't be happier with the buy-in I got from the kids and how hard they worked," said Varney, who completed his third season.

Injuries again took a toll on Grove City, which has lost 22 consecutive league games since a 10-7 victory over Gahanna on Oct. 16, 2015. The Dawgs have had six consecutive losing seasons since going 6-4 in 2013.

Grove City's lone win came against Central Crossing, 18-15 on Sept. 13.

A major injury loss was senior Jevin Yors (RB/DB). He was lost for the season in Week 4 with a knee injury after rushing for 155 yards and one touchdown on 35 carries.

"We had so many injuries," Varney said. "This was the most injuries that I've ever had as a coach. Jevin was one of the best players, maybe our best player."

Sophomore Zach Nelson (RB/DB) led the team in rushing with 354 yards and four touchdowns on 73 carries. Senior Cole Crager (RB/DB) rushed for 320 yards and a touchdown on 82 carries, and senior Blake Stevens (RB/DB) ran for 274 yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries.

Stevens led the Dawgs in tackles with 109 and was named first-team all-league.

Junior quarterback Jared Knight completed his second season as the starter. He was 42-for-104 passing for 411 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions and was honorable mention all-league.

"We're definitely excited for next season to be able to step up and hopefully we can turn this program around," Knight said.

Junior Justin Catalfina (WR/DB) led the team in receiving with nine catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Other leaders on defense were senior Montell Qualls (RB/LB) with 102 tackles, junior Hayden Yerian (OL/LB) with 60 tackles and junior Cole Becker (TE/LB) with 58 tackles.

Varney credited the 21-player senior class for providing leadership.

"I had these guys when they were sophomores. That was my first group (here)," he said. "They've done everything we've asked them to do. They're a great group of kids. They're all going to be very successful in life. It's tough to see such good kids leave your program. ... I'm very proud of them and I know our community is very proud of them."

Another key loss to graduation will be senior Joey Woolard (OL/DL), who was second-team all-league and plans to be a walk-on at Ohio University.

"All we're hoping as a class is we set the foundation for future classes coming in after us," Woolard said. "I'm going to miss the people more than anything, the coaches and my teammates."

Senior Will Moore (OL/DL) was special mention all-league.

Other key players expected to return include juniors Carter Binford (RB/DB), Caden Gordon (RB/DB) and A.J. Stoll (WR/DB).

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank