Grove City at Gahanna Lincoln: Dawgs seeking first win over Lions since 2015

FRANK DiRENNA
ThisWeekSPORTS.com
Christian Isaacs and Grove City visit Gahanna for an OCC-Ohio Division game Friday, Sept. 25.

A pair of longtime rivals will meet in an OCC-Ohio Division game Friday, Sept. 25, at Gahanna Lincoln.

The Lions will play host to Grove City looking to rebound from a 43-0 loss at Westerville Central on Sept. 18 that dropped them to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.

Grove City fell 47-24 to visiting Pickerington North on Sept. 18 to slip to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the league.

Gahanna has won four consecutive games in the series, with the Dawgs’ last victory coming in 2015 (10-7).

“We’re lucky that we’ve been playing each other for a handful of years,” Grove City coach Matt Shaul said. “There’s a certain familiarity with their coaches, players, so we’re just excited to get back to work. It’s another opportunity to compete.”

The Lions committed five turnovers and had just 104 total yards against Central.

Ronald Blackman, the team’s top rusher, was limited to 31 yards on 17 carries.

“We just have to play our brand of defense, everyone runs to the ball and gang tackles,” Shaul said. “Good things will happen when you’re all moving in the same direction.”

Gahanna coach Bruce Ward is confident his team will respond against Grove City.

“We have to get back to work,” Ward said. “(Grove City) has a new coach this year, so they’re doing things a little bit different, but — and nothing against Grove City — we’re not worried about Grove City. The way we played (Sept. 18), we have to worry about us.”

Shaul pointed to several positives his team could take out of the loss to North, including scoring a season-high 24 points.

Trevor Mills rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, and Lukas Hamilton had five receptions for 139 yards and a score.

Zakk Tschirhart completed nine of 18 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

WEEK 5

GROVE CITY at GAHANNA LINCOLN

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25

•Last meeting: 2019, Gahanna 41-7

•Grove City (1-3 overall, 0-3 in OCC-Ohio) to date: Defeated Central Crossing 7-6; lost to New Albany 23-7; lost to Westerville Central 34-0; lost to Pickerington North 47-24

•Gahanna (2-2 overall, 2-1 in OCC-Ohio) to date: Lost to Reynoldsburg 48-14; def. Westland 49-7; def. New Albany 42-41 (OT); lost to Westerville Central 43-0

•Top Dawgs: Austin Allmon (TE/DL), Tyler Biddle (LB), Cole Becker (RB/LB), Carter Binford (WR/DB), Caden Gordon (RB/DB), Lukas Hamilton (WR/DB), Christian Isaacs (RB/DB), Tyler Lantzy (K/P), Trevor Mills (RB) and Hayden Yerian (RB/LB)

•Top Lions: Ricky Alli (RB/LB), Tommy Bailey (OL/DL), Kane Baker (WR/DB), Trey Burger (QB), Ronald Blackman (RB/DB), Mondra Curry (RB/LB), Mykohl Martin (OL/DL), Brendan Raymond (WR/DB) and Jaden Yates (RB/LB)