During its opener Aug. 28, the Watterson football team was leading by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter but couldn't finish off visiting DeSales while losing 28-22 in overtime.

Hartley also built an early lead that it couldn't hold, as it lost 34-17 on Aug. 28 to visiting Cincinnati Moeller.

One other thing the programs have in common as they prepare to meet Friday, Sept. 4, at Hartley in the first of a home-and-home series between the CCL programs is that both were stung by miscues.

The Hawks forced five turnovers, but according to coach Brad Burchfield, gave up "too many big plays and too many penalties" to take advantage.

"We had a lot of turnovers on both sides," Burchfield said. "(Our mistakes) are the things we need to clean up before we get into the CCL. It's important. It'll be important for them, too, since they lost in overtime. It'll be an important game and a brand-new season in the CCL.

"We need to take this and get better from it, and we obviously will. We're still learning about ourselves and what we can do well. We're right there but we're still learning about ourselves."

The Eagles missed two extra points and then a 33-yard field-goal attempt in overtime against DeSales while committing one turnover.

"We made way too many mistakes to win a football game, and it's tough," coach Brian Kennedy said. "You get one scrimmage, you come out and you're playing your rival, but we've got to be better. DeSales is really good and I don't want to take anything away from them, but we had too many mistakes."

Richard Kenny rushed for 101 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown, Sumo Kesselly ran for a score and Nyal Johnson added 63 yards rushing for the Hawks, who finished with 255 yards on the ground.

Watterson's strength against DeSales also was its ground game, with Cam Nickleson rushing 27 times for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

Eagles quarterback Jake Hoying was limited to 93 yards with one interception on 9-for-18 passing.

Senior defensive tackle Charlie McAdow sustained an injury that Kennedy believes could sideline him indefinitely. A combination of senior Tanner Mercer and juniors Matthew Heidenreich, Kevin Hinsman and Brady White is expected to fill the void.

"Now we roll right into Hartley," Kennedy said. "It's a six-game (regular) season and the playoffs and nothing changes, but we've just got to get better. The kids are extremely disappointed. I'm disappointed. This hurts and there's nothing I can say to them that's going to make it go away. I said, 'Who are we going to be? Are we going to come in tomorrow morning with our heads down? Or are we going to come in ready to work?' "

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek