Grandview Heights: Bobcats travel to Buckeye Valley seeking first win

SCOTT HENNEN
ThisWeekSPORTS.com
Connor McCormick has returned kickoffs for touchdowns in the last two games, both Grandview losses.

Grandview Heights is looking for its first victory when it travels to Buckeye Valley on Friday, Sept. 25, in MSL-Ohio Division play.

The Bobcats are 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the league despite the special-teams play of Connor McCormick. The junior running back has returned kickoffs for touchdowns in the last two games, which were bright spots during lopsided MSL-Ohio setbacks. 

McCormick had a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on Sept. 11 in a 63-14 loss to visiting Harvest Prep. He also returned a kickoff 78 yards for a score in a 77-6 defeat at Liberty Union on Sept 18.

“The kickoff return team is doing a good job for us,” coach Jason Peters said. “Connor is very fast and pretty quick. In both of his kickoff returns, he has broken a tackle or two. The blocking has been good, and he’s making it happen.”

Buckeye Valley has won back-to-back MSL-Ohio contests after edging visiting Whitehall 14-13 on Sept. 18 to improve to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the league. It also defeated Bexley 31-26 on Sept. 11.

Quarterback Anthony Hughes accounted for both Buckeye Valley touchdowns against the Rams. He scored on a 4-yard run and connected with wide receiver Ben Fisher on a 42-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Felipe Scharff kicked both extra points, including the decisive point.

“They’re big and physical,” Peters said. “They have some athletes that they’re going to spread out a little bit and try to get them into open space.

“They’re pretty sound on the defense line, and they don’t blow gaps. The linebackers play downhill and don’t get lost on the field. They’re disciplined, and they know what they’re doing.”

Against Liberty Union, McCormick’s kickoff return in the first quarter had the Bobcats trailing just 7-6 early before the Lions erupted for 56 points to build a 63-6 halftime cushion. Grandview totaled 28 yards of offense.

“We’re struggling on offense and the defense is out there on the field way too much,” Peters said. “We have to get better at the little things.”

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

WEEK 5

GRANDVIEW at BUCKEYE VALLEY

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25

•Last meeting: 2019, Grandview 14-3

•Grandview (0-4 overall, 0-3 in MSL-Ohio) to date: Lost to Galion Northmor 34-0; lost to Whitehall 22-14; lost to Harvest Prep 64-13; lost to Liberty Union 77-6

•Buckeye Valley (2-2 overall, 2-1 in MSL-Ohio) to date: Lost to Harvest Prep 56-25; lost to Ready 20-6; defeated Bexley 31-26; def. Whitehall 14-13

•Top Bobcats: Cory Culp (RB/LB), Connor Dobies (OL/LB), Gabhran Downer (OL/DL), Ian Gecse (TE/DL), Mason Gastesi (TE/DL), Connor McCormick (RB/DB/P), Tristin Pierce (RB/DB), Matthew Taylor (OL/DL) and Jake Zimmerman (OL/DL)

•Top Barons: Keegan Allen (OL/DL), Andre Ash (RB/WR/LB), Alex Contreras (WR/DB/P), Dalton Dodds (WR/DB), Ben Fisher (WR/DB), Fletcher Holquist (OL/DL/LB), Anthony Hughes (QB/DB), Carson Vaulx (LB) and Will Weinberg (TE/LB)