ThisWeekSports Central Ohio Football Previews: Who, What, Where & When


ThisWeek Sports

A look at key Central Ohio Week 6 matchups and players…Pickerington North vs Pickerington Central, St. Charles vs DeSales, Dublin Jermoe vs Westerville Central and more…


*Pickerington North @ Pickerington Central

One of two central Ohio teams to be in the top 10 in last week’s
Division I state poll and ranked higher than Pickerington Central in
last week’s Region 3 computer ratings, the Pickerington High School
North football team has more accolades than its sister school at the
midpoint of a season for the first time.

But there is one other number the Panthers know they must overcome to continue to rise to new heights.

They are 0-5 against the Tigers.

North lost 24-21 at Central last season and will play this year’s game at Central as well, on Friday, Sept. 28.

There will be five players on the field who have verbally committed to Division I colleges in…COMPLETE STORY

*Dublin Jerome at Westerville Central

Dublin Jerome High School senior running back Donovan Wilson is
winding down what has been a record-setting prep football career, one
he’s hoping to cap with a postseason berth.

But the Celtics face an uphill climb to what would be their third playoff appearance and first since 2008.

“Hopefully we can win the rest of our games,” Wilson said. “We can do it, we just have to keep working hard.”

The Celtics fell to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division
with a 20-7 loss to Hilliard Darby on Sept. 22. The game began Sept. 21,
but was suspended because of bad weather.

Wilson rushed for 103 yards with a 1-yard touchdown on 33 carries, but Jerome was limited to 130 total yards.

“We have to start playing better and I need to start playing better,”
Wilson said. “I take it personally. I know I’m supposed to make plays
for the team and I didn’t…COMPLETE STORY

*Hilliard Bradley at Westerville Central

Mike LoParo is finding the OCC-Cardinal Division to be very repetitive.

The second-year coach of the Hilliard Bradley High School football
team said he expects to see much of the same when the Jaguars travel to
Westerville Central on Friday, Sept. 28, for a league game.

Bradley moved from the OCC-Capital to the OCC-Cardinal this season as part of OCC realignment.

“They’re really good,” LoParo said of the Warhawks. “It seems like
every week is going to be a tough one. It’s just the state of our

“It’s hard to see a lot difference between a lot of these teams.
There is a lot of parity in this league. It will be interesting to see…COMPLETE STORY

*Newark at Grove City

It was an ideal weekend for Grove City High School football player Chad Moore.

After helping the Dawgs defeat Groveport 42-24 on Sept. 21, Moore
traveled to Ohio University the following day to watch his brother,
Keith, help the Bobcats defeat Norfolk State 44-10.

Keith is a redshirt junior middle linebacker for the Bobcats.

Sharing special moments with his brother has always been an important part of Chad’s life.

“My brother is the biggest role model I have,” Chad said. “I play for
him most of the time because he’s taught me a lot over the years. He’s
obviously the one that really got me started into football. He’s
definitely the biggest inspiration I have.”

Chad was in middle school during Keith’s senior season at Grove City
in 2008. His goal was to become a key contributor for the Dawgs — like
his brother.

Now a senior outside linebacker, Chad is…COMPLETE STORY

*Worthington Kilbourne at Hilliard Darby

If the first half of the season is any indication, then the Hilliard
Darby High School football team will have a difficult time maintaining
its scoring average when it plays host to Worthington Kilbourne in an
OCC-Cardinal Division game Friday, Sept. 28.

The Panthers, who are 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal, are
averaging 41.8 points per contest, but the Wolves are allowing 19.4.

“I think our defense has played very well all season,” said coach
Vince Trombetti, whose team fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the
OCC-Cardinal with a 29-17 loss to Westerville Central on Sept. 22. “Our
offense has made several turnovers deep in our end and the defense has
done good even with their backs to the wall a lot.”

In addition to turnovers, special teams coverage also has put the Wolves’ defense in a bad spot at times. Central scored…COMPLETE STORY

*Gahanna at Reynoldsburg

Through the season’s first five weeks, there might not have been a
tougher team to run the ball against statistically throughout central
Ohio than the Gahanna Lincoln High School football team.

After holding DeSales to 37 yards on 50 attempts in their 13-10
triple-overtime win Aug. 24, the Lions gave up 145 yards rushing in a
45-7 win over Upper Arlington on Aug. 31, although 78 of those yards
came on the Golden Bears’ only touchdown.

Since that time, Gahanna’s defense, which is led by linebacker
Mitchell Rowell, nose guard Granyl Smith and a speedy group of backs
including Emile Camm, has allowed a combined 94 yards rushing on 72

The Lions are 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division but could
be in for their biggest test to date in terms of stopping the run when
they travel to Reynoldsburg on Friday, Sept. 28, for a league contest…COMPLETE STORY


*Westerville South at Dublin Scioto

Two productive offenses will be on display Friday, Sept. 28, when the
Dublin Scioto High School football team plays host to Westerville South
in an OCC-Cardinal Division game.

Scioto’s no-huddle, hurry-up offense is averaging 38.4 points and
397.4 yards per game. The Irish beat Westerville North 45-14 on Sept. 21
to improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

South’s spread offense has been even more effective, averaging 40.2
points and 500.6 yards per contest. The Wildcats defeated Hilliard
Bradley 28-16 last weekend to improve to 5-0 and 2-0.

While Scioto coach Karl Johnson is aware both teams have the
potential to light up the scoreboard, he said the squad that plays
superior defense likely will win.

“Everyone loves to talk about offense, but defense is what wins games
and championships,” Johnson said. “Westerville South and us do some
things differently, but we’re very similar offensively, so it’s going to
come down to which defense steps up and make plays. We both have good
defenses, and defense is going to…COMPLETE STORY

*Marysville at Olentangy Liberty

Most high school football coaches strive for their teams to be
equally effective at running and passing the ball, but often their
offenses aren’t balanced on a consistent basis as much as they would

That’s why Olentangy Liberty coach Steve Hale hasn’t been too
troubled by the fact that his offense has relied heavily on the left arm
of quarterback Joey Longhino the last two seasons. The 6-foot,
180-pound senior threw for 1,881 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10
interceptions last season and has completed 86 of 123 passes for 1,252
yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions so far this year.

Longhino had a strong performance in a 37-21 win over visiting Upper
Arlington in an OCC-Central Division game that concluded Sept. 22 after
being suspended because of lightning the night before with the Patriots
leading 24-21 at halftime, completing 13 of 19 passes for 121 yards.

However, the Patriots also ran the ball effectively out of their
no-huddle offense, as Longhino rushed for 145 yards on 18 carries and
junior running back Daryian Davies ran for 153 yards and three
touchdowns on 29 carries.

“I think when you talk about Liberty, everybody talks passing,
passing, passing,” said Hale, whose team is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the
OCC-Central entering its home game against Marysville on Friday, Sept.
28. “I was really pleased that we were able to establish some sort of
running game. It’s a different dimension for us. It gives (opponents)
something else to prepare for when…COMPLETE STORY

*Olentangy Orange at Mount Vernon

The Yellow Jackets are much improved over last season, when they
finished 2-8 overall, and have excelled with the schemes of second-year
coach Anthony Naples.

Both offenses are run-oriented, meaning the game will move at a fast pace.

Orange will try to get back on track after losing back-to-back games
to start league play. The Pioneers were averaging 27.5 points through
four games, but are down to 22.6 after being held to three points last
weekend against Olentangy. Mount Vernon has averaged 24.6 points per
game and has given up an average of 17.4. Orange has surrendered 30.6
points per contest..COMPLETE STORY

*St. Charles at DeSales

St. Charles has won four in a row since its opening loss to
Pickerington North. Included in that stretch were wins over Eastmoor and
Beechcroft, both of which made the playoffs a year ago.

With Sean Fitzmartin and Jonathan Radney leading the way, the
Cardinals have had a consistent running game. Ryan Bailey passed for 109
yards and one touchdown and rushed for one score against Rogers.

DeSales has won 35 consecutive games against St. Charles but is off
to its worst start since 1968, having lost three of its first four
games. The Stallions bounced back against Chillicothe on Sept. 21 and
have shown the ability to move the ball with an option led by Alex
Perrine and J.T. Blubaugh. Blubaugh did not play against Chillicothe
because of a groin injury but could return this week, according to coach
Ryan Wiggins.

Among DeSales’ biggest issues has been overcoming inexperience on both the offensive and defensive lines.

The contest is the CCL-Silver Division opener for both teams…COMPLETE STORY

*Thomas Worthington at Dublin Coffman

Thomas scored in double digits for the first time this season last week
after totaling 16 points in its first four games. The Cardinals’ offense
figures to be tested by the Coffman defense, as the Shamrocks are
allowing an average of 9.4 points per game.

Coffman is led by one of the area’s top quarterbacks in James Walsh, who
has completed 70 of 105 passes for 1,017 yards and nine touchdowns with
three interceptions and has rushed for 347 yards and five touchdowns.
His primary target is Austen Rankin, who has 24 receptions for 286 yards
and four touchdowns…COMPLETE STORY


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