Senior defensive back and wide receiver Bryce Cheek says hes been hearing about the Olentangy High School football teams 27-6 loss to rival Olentangy Orange last year for far too long now.

Senior defensive back and wide receiver Bryce Cheek says hes been hearing about the Olentangy High School football teams 27-6 loss to rival Olentangy Orange last year for far too long now.

Cheek hopes a win Friday will start the Braves on the right foot this season or, at least, silence his friends on the Pioneers team.

"All of my friends (at Orange) say its going to be a repeat of last year," Cheek said. "We have to line up and win it on the field instead of talking about it."

The first meeting of the two teams was a perfect start for Oranges second season. The Pioneers tied New Albany for the OCC-Capital Division title with a 6-1 record and finished 9-3 overall after losing to Marion Franklin 36-25 in the second round of the playoffs.

The game was a nightmarish beginning for the Braves, who finished 3-7 overall. It was their worst record since going 3-7 in 1993. After taking a 6-3 lead at halftime, Olentangys breakdowns on special teams and turnovers allowed the Pioneers to score 24 unanswered points in the second half.

"The only thing I remember about last years game with Orange is that I would like to forget it," Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger said. "We didnt match up well, we didnt play well and I didnt coach well."

The Braves will not have to worry about stopping graduate Corey Joey. He sparked Orange offensively by rushing for 50 yards and passing for 50 yards, defensively with an interception and on special teams with a punt returned 57 yards for a touchdown.

While Corey Joe is gone, his brother Blake Joe, who rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter against Olentangy, returns.

After studying the Braves on film, Orange coach Brian Cross, the 2009 Division III central Ohio coach of the year, sees a very different challenge.

"Olentangys has a very big offensive line and they come off the ball very well," Cross said. "(Fullback William) Greathouse is a load to bring down and you have to stop him before he gets going. Defensively, theyre able to do a lot of different things that we dont see normally."

Orange had to rebuild its offensive and defensive lines, two areas where it had a distinct advantage last year. Junior Billy McCague, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound guard who saw limited time last season, is one of the few players with experience returning to the line. Senior Connor Boland (6-2, 240) and junior Yun Kang (6-1, 230) have an edge as the tackles and senior Michael Moore (5-10, 175) and sophomore Spencer Wilson (6-3, 260) are vying to play center.

The Pioneers offensive line will be tested by Olentangys 4-3 defense. Junior linebacker Joshua Perry, who has already made a verbal commitment to Ohio State, leads the defense. The game will be the starting point for most Olentangy starters, including senior quarterback Joey Gadd (6-0, 177), who completed three of seven passes for 22 yards as a backup last year. Greathouse, an honorable mention all-OCC selection at defensive end and fullback, is the teams only returning all-league selection.

"I really think this game is going to be battle in the trenches and in the kicking game," Cross said. "Last year we had a good kicking game and we were able to put kickoffs into the end zone. This year we have a returning punter (Jared Leet) and Brian Schrader, who is good with short field goals and extra points."