Football team falls short against league rival Columbus Academy

Senior captain Dominic Gutter punts the ball against Columbus Academy Friday, Oct. 14. (Photo by Alissa Shyshkova)

The varsity football team fell to league rivals Columbus Academy Vikings 37-6 Friday, Oct. 14.

Football Head Coach Mike Kerr said the team started the game off with a lot of energy and high expectations for the rivalry.

“We had a great week of practice last week,” he said. “I felt really good going in. We were excited about the game.”
The Vikings scored twice early in the first quarter, leaving the Lions trailing 10-0. Following a Vikings touchdown, Lions quarterback freshman Jackson Frey pitched the ball to senior running back Dominic Gutter, who made it past Academy’s defense for a touchdown. Gutter’s 70-yard touchdown run made the score 10-6. 

During the second quarter, the Lions received many penalties. Junior back-up quarterback and safety Robby Messmer explained that while they had a lot of momentum at the start of the game, they lost a lot of energy after unsuccessful drives. 

Junior cornerback Gavin Benson said Academy scored again after a five-yard penalty was called against the Lions. After Academy’s lead jumped to 17-6, Benson said the team lost energy.

The Vikings scored another touchdown, but their kick was blocked by the Lions, making the score 23-6. However, after another touchdown by Academy, the score at halftime was 30-6. 

Benson said early in the second half, senior wide receiver Johnathan Grimm had an interception that gave the team more intensity. 

Throughout the second half, Bexley was not able to score. However, the defense held Academy to only one more touchdown. The final score of the game was 37-6. 

After the game Kerr said that he was proud of the effort that the team gave even though the result was not what they were hoping for.

“I felt the kids played hard,” he said. “We just didn’t execute in spots and had a couple mistakes that really hurt us. You know the effort is never questioned from these guys; they always play hard.”

Messmer said that the seniors went into the game really wanting to come out with a win. It was the last time they would play football against Academy. He explained that the loss was worse because the seniors went into the game with high hopes for the outcome.  

Benson said he sees a lot of improvement in the team that is not always shown through the score of the game.

“I think that if you look at the scoreboard and look at our record, it says we have not improved at all, but I think if you watch the games, you can see how we are performing differently,” Benson explained. “I think you can definitely see how we are getting better each week.”

Messmer said that the team is improving every game; they will continue to work hard for the remainder of their season and hopefully come out with a win.

So far this season, the outcomes of the games have not been what the team wanted, Kerr said, but in preparation for the next game, the team will work on cleaning up some of their mistakes.

“We can’t beat ourselves,” he said. “Right now we are beating ourselves with penalties and turn overs and things like that, so we’ve got to clean those things up.” 

Kerr explained he is incredibly proud of the improvements the team has made and of the effort they brought to the Academy game.

“It’s been a tough season in terms of wins and losses, but I am really proud of the kids and how they compete each and every week,” Kerr said. 


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Noa Pitstick
Noa Pitstick is a senior sports editor at Bexley High School. She is a varsity captain for both cheer and lacrosse.