Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
October 3, 2019
Game of the week: Willoughby South at Kenston
7 p.m. Friday
It’s time for the Kenston gridders (5-0, 2-0) to put on their big-boy pants when Division II Willoughby South (4-1, 2-0) comes looking for trouble in a Western Reserve Conference showdown at 7 p.m. Friday in Bainbridge Township.
The visiting Rebels own a 4-2 series advantage against Kenston, but the Bombers have a two-game streak against South, including a 38-8 win in 2017 and a 40-25 win in 2018.
Kenston is coming off a 50-12 thumping of Brush (0-5) in a game that senior slotback Tyler Mintz had a program mark 14 catches, which produced 231 yards and two touchdowns to motor 520 yards of offense for the Bombers.
Perhaps most noteworthy, Kenston had zero turnovers and just two penalties for 15 yards.
South, under 16th-year head coach Matt Duffy, who owns a 109-65 record at the helm, is coming off a 10-7 victory against archrival Eastlake North (2-3, 0-2) in a game that the Rebels led, 10-0, at halftime thanks to a 57-yard touchdown toss from senior quarterback Justin Grosel to Eastern Michigan commit Rico Small in the second quarter.
Grosel was nine-of-16 for 123 yards, but South did the majority of its damage with 210 yards rushing, including Grosel’s 11 carries for 86 yards.
Defensively, South held North’s wing-T to 156 yards rushing and 55 yards passing with the Rangers’ lone score coming on a 15-yard run to open the third quarter. South forced two North turnovers in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
The previous week, Kenston defeated North, 45-7.
If the Bombers can take care of the pigskin and contain Grosel and Small, then they’ll be in business for a victory.
TONY’S TAKE: Kenston wins, 34-21.