The Worthington Kilbourne and Westerville North high school football teams struggled through disappointing seasons last fall. Each squad is looking to the Friday, Aug. 26, opener at North as a springboard to redemption.
Kilbourne ended last season with a 13-7 win over Thomas Worthington to secure fifth place (3-4) in the OCC-Central Division behind Hilliard Davidson (7-0), Dublin Coffman (6-1), Hilliard Darby (5-2) and Upper Arlington (4-3) and ahead of Thomas (2-5), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).
Westerville North was shut out four times last year andlost to Olentangy 44-12 to finish 0-10. The Warriors went 0-7 in the OCC-Cardinal, last behind Westerville South (6-1), Dublin Jerome (5-2), Dublin Scioto (4-3), Olentangy (4-3), Olentangy Liberty (4-3), Marysville (3-4) and Westerville Central (2-5). The winless season extended North's losing streak to 25 games.
Kilbourne defeated North 34-19 in last season's opener.
This year's contest features two first-year starting quarterbacks.
Kilbourne senior quarterback Brian Miller saw limited playing time last year, when he completed 11 of 17 passes for 146 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
"Hopefully we can improve from last season. There is a lot of rebuilding, but we're looking forward to the season," Miller said. "I like the responsibility. I look forward to the pressure. That's just sort of how I am."
Warriors senior quarterback B.J. Campfield will be playing his first season at quarterback after playing defensive back, running back and wide receiver last season. He rushed for 196 yards and one touchdown in 2010.
"You would think he has been playing quarterback his entire life," North coach Mike Owens said. "He's picked up the offense very quickly and worked extremely hard to not only win the position, but also excel at it."