Forest Park: The Panthers are off to a 2-0 start – and might have been 3-0 had the opener against McNair not been cancelled. The wins haven’t come against state-ranked opponents, but when you’re trying to rebuild the program like coach Rex Robertson is doing, you’ll take every win you can get. Beating a rival like Morrow was legit and last week the Panthers shut out Osborne, their first time to hold an opponent scoreless since 2018 against Clarkston. Forest Park still faces an uphill climb in a difficult Region 3, but the program is making progress.
Northside Columbus: The Patriots, in coach Andrew Oropeza’s second season, are 2-0 for the first time since 2018 and have produced 117 points – more than half of what they scored last year in nine games. Quarterback Elihu McMoore has thrown for four touchdowns and has productive backs in Malachi Hosley and Devaughn Scott. Cornerbacks Ashlynd Barker and Clytavious Barnes are starting to get offers from smaller schools and junior Dajwon DeLoach is a prospect at outside linebacker. Ryan Van Dinter had two interceptions last week and returned one for a touchdown; he is also the team’s kicker. Northside is trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.