The Dublin Scioto High School football team finds itself in a familiar spot.

The Dublin Scioto High School football team finds itself in a familiar spot.

The Irish fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division with a 45-42 loss to Westerville South on Sept. 23, marking the second time in three seasons that they have only one win at the midway point of the season. Not since 2007 have they had a winning record through the first five games.

"We're playing some pretty good teams and the margin of error is small," coach Karl Johnson said. "We've got to have four good quarters and we haven't done that. We need to find a way to eliminate the mistakes that are hurting us."

Scioto faces another win-deprived team on Friday, Sept. 30, when it plays host to Westerville North in an OCC-Cardinal game. The Warriors are 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the league and have lost 30 consecutive games.

North's last win was a 21-17 victory over Westerville Central on Sept. 19, 2008.

Three of the four losses for the Irish have been by 10 points or fewer, including a 40-35 loss to unbeaten Marion-Franklin on Sept. 2.

"In those five games, there were a lot of positives, especially on the offensive side," senior linebacker Austin Mooney said. "We've been putting up a lot of points, and the way I look at is, we can't go anywhere but up."

Scioto is averaging 29.2 points per game and allowing 35.6.

A young defensive unit has struggled with stopping the big play. Against Marion-Franklin, the Irish gave up 279 yards on the six plays that resulted in a touchdown.

But Johnson isn't quick to blame the defense.

Scioto was held to minus-13 yards rushing in a 35-25 loss to Olentangy on Sept. 16.

"We've got to get our running game and passing game in sync," Johnson said. "In the loss to Olentangy, we had to rely on the pass. Our running game has to help our defense in keeping them off the field. Everything starts up front. If our defensive backs are getting beat, we've got to have a better pass rush."

Against South, Scioto outgained the Wildcats 413 total yards to 358.

But South managed to wipe out a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter with an 80-yard drive, a 38-yard touchdown run and a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown.

"As a team, we're just trying to stay together," running back William Houston said. "We're a team that's going to fight back. We can't think so much about the past. We've got a lot of sophomores out there and I think some of them have been tense and not having fun out there."

Houston, a junior, has rushed for 465 yards on 98 carries with 10 touchdowns, and junior quarterback Evan DeMars has been efficient, completing 72 of 136 passes for 866 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.

Scioto won only two of its first five games last season but won four of its final five to finish 6-4. The Irish haven't had a losing season since finishing 4-6 in 2006.

"We know we have nothing to lose at this point," Mooney said. "We just need to play our hearts out. We can't use our inexperience as an excuse. We know we're a team that's capable of finishing 6-4."