It's not that the Olentangy Liberty High School football team has forgotten what happened when it faced Dublin Coffman in the opener last season. The Patriots simply want to make sure it doesn't happen again.

It's not that the Olentangy Liberty High School football team has forgotten what happened when it faced Dublin Coffman in the opener last season. The Patriots simply want to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The Shamrocks walloped Liberty 52-0 in the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic at Ohio Stadium before a national television audience.

"There were a lot of things going on with that game and it just snowballed on us," said Liberty coach Steve Hale, whose team plays host to the Shamrocks on Friday. "I didn't prepare our team well enough and Coffman's coaches did. They jumped on us and were able to capitalize on our mistakes."

But it won't be the same Coffman team which reached a Division I regional final before falling to eventual state champion Hilliard Davidson 22-7. Shamrocks coach Mark Crabtree went into preseason camp with only one returning starter on offense and two on defense.

The Shamrocks do welcome back senior quarterback Cole Stoudt, who threw for 1,151 yards and 15 touchdowns before an injury in week seven sidelined him for the rest of the season.

"My hope is that we play the best we can," said Crabtree, whose team finished 12-1 last season. "I dont know if Im expecting that. We still have a lot of work to do in a lot of areas. The thing I like is our effort. Hopefully, we can play well enough Friday night."

With seven returning senior starters on defense, the Patriots are ready for the challenge they face going against Stoudt and the spread offense.

The returning starters are linebackers Matt Casey (6-foot, 220 pounds) and Adam Michael-Gesell (6-2, 220), backs Jimmy Chickerella (6-0, 185), Josh Richardson (5-11, 170) and Tyler Specht (6-0, 188) and linemen Joe Archer (6-2, 200) and Mike Davis (6-0, 280).

"We're just going to have to keep Stoudt under control," Hale said. "He's going to find people open. We just can't afford to have any breakdowns in our secondary and, hopefully, our defensive line can keep him moving around."

Friday's game marks the first varsity start for Liberty senior quarterback Taylor Hudson (6-1, 180). He replaces Zack Michael, who accounted for more than 2,000 yards of offense during his senior season.

Hudson faces a rebuilt Coffman defense which allowed an average of 6.5 points per game last season.

Cornerback Stacy Woodford and defensive ends Bard Carrico and Max Phelps, all returning starters, are the leaders of a young unit. Carrico (6-6, 270) already has verbally committed to the University of Notre Dame.

"In central Ohio, you've got to play games like this," Hale said. "But that's fine and I like a challenge like this in week one. We've played a challenging scrimmage schedule and I like what I've seen."

Following last season's loss to Coffman, Liberty went on to win seven of its next eight games before reaching the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. The Patriots lost to Westerville South 50-14 in the first round of the playoffs to finish 7-4.

"To me, the key to Olentangy Liberty is Steve Hale," Crabtree said. "They're doing something right. Those guys play hard and they're not going to beat themselves. We know that we're going to be facing a much disciplined team Friday."