Pickerington North will attempt to make it two in a row in its longest-running rivalry Friday, Sept. 2, when it travels to Logan.

Pickerington North will attempt to make it two in a row in its longest-running rivalry Friday, Sept. 2, when it travels to Logan.

The Chieftains are the only opponent that was on the Panthers' schedule in each of their first eight seasons. Logan holds a 6-2 lead in the series, with North's only victories coming in 2004 and last year when it won 24-3.

The Panthers also have an opportunity to begin the season 2-0 after they shocked defending Division III state champion Watterson 38-3 on Aug. 26.

Logan, which went 3-7 last season, lost 35-13 in its opener Aug. 26 at Lancaster.

"They're always a good school to play," Panthers senior two-way lineman Pat Elflein said. "When we beat them last year, I think it's only the second time we've ever beaten them. We've still got a lot of work to do."

Senior Kelly Long is the new full-time quarterback for Logan after serving in a backup role last season.

Junior Cory McCarty is back after rushing for 566 yards and five touchdowns a year ago for a Chieftains' team that traditionally has taken a run-first approach to its offense. Last season, Logan threw for just five touchdowns and fewer than 1,000 yards, although senior wide receiver Isaac Lindsey returns after finishing with 36 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns.

Defensively, North limited Watterson to four first-half first downs. Elflein, junior Jake Butt and senior Seth Gamby are part of an experienced defense that spent the offseason looking to improve after giving up an average of 23.3 points.

Offensively against Watterson, North got 89 yards and one touchdown from junior running back Godwin Igwebuike, 50 yards on three catches from junior wide receiver Roland Ladipo and 105 yards passing from quarterback Zach Olszewski.

It was the first game in a North uniform for Igwebuike, who attended Pickerington Central in ninth grade and sat out last year after transferring.

"We have a lot of guys under the radar," Igwebuike said.

Senior linemen Aaron Wolfe, Paul Wesselhoeft and Alex Schneider, senior linebacker Jordan Sharb and senior backs Sean Wotring and Lindsey are among those leading the Logan defense.