Two productive offenses will be on display Friday, Sept. 28, when the Dublin Scioto High School football team plays host to Westerville South in an OCC-Cardinal Division game.

Two productive offenses will be on display Friday, Sept. 28, when the Dublin Scioto High School football team plays host to Westerville South in an OCC-Cardinal Division game.

Scioto's no-huddle, hurry-up offense is averaging 38.4 points and 397.4 yards per game. The Irish beat Westerville North 45-14 on Sept. 21 to improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

South's spread offense has been even more effective, averaging 40.2 points and 500.6 yards per contest. The Wildcats defeated Hilliard Bradley 28-16 last weekend to improve to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

While Scioto coach Karl Johnson is aware both teams have the potential to light up the scoreboard, he said the squad that plays superior defense likely will win.

"Everyone loves to talk about offense, but defense is what wins games and championships," Johnson said. "Westerville South and us do some things differently, but we've very similar offensively, so it's going to come down to which defense steps up and make plays. We both have good defenses, and defense is going to decide who wins this game."

Johnson said his 4-4 defense -- led by linebackers Nick Conner and Troy Zimmerman, linemen Joe Monda and Mason Sawicki and back Jack Flood -- must stop South from making big plays in the passing game.

South quarterback Nick Renzetti is 96-for-159 passing for 1,540 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. His favorite targets are receivers Jalen Bell (34 catches, 657 yards, 9 touchdowns), Marcus Ball (20 catches, 280 yards, 2 touchdowns), Darryl Long (14 catches, 155 yards) and Torrodd Carter (13 catches, 219 yards, 2 touchdowns).

The Wildcats also feature two effective running backs in Noah Prentiss (635 yards, 6 touchdowns, 89 carries) and Darien Miller (287 yards, 6 touchdowns, 25 carries).

"You have to defend the whole field against Westerville South because they have athletes all over the place," Johnson said. "They have a good quarterback and good wide receivers, but if you commit too much of your defense to the backfield, they can run the ball very well, too. Our defense is better than it was last year and it will need to have its best performance of the season to slow their offense down."

Johnson said his offense must be prepared to make quick decisions against South's 4-3 defense, which is led by backs Ball, Timmy Bates, Bell and Myles Collier and linebackers Miller and Kamaree Walden.

"Westerville South's defense is very good at creating a lot of pressure and confusion," Johnson said. "They're always blitzing and bringing pressure, and you never know where they're coming from. We have to know where we want to go with the ball and find a way to get past their pressure. Our offense can be explosive, but the biggest thing is taking care of the ball and keeping the chains moving."

Scioto quarterback Evan DeMars is 113-for-160 passing for 1,401 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. His top receivers are Tim Shadoan (36 catches, 447 yards, 5 touchdowns), Darius McDonald (25 catches, 235 yards, 2 touchdowns), Mason Matheny (22 catches, 261 yards, 1 touchdown) and Cody Steffy (12 catches, 144 yards, 3 touchdowns).

"We really have to be more focused in practice, especially the defensive backs," Bates said. "(DeMars) is a dual threat. He can run the ball as well and we have to be ready for that."

Leading the Irish in rushing are William Houston (490 yards, 7 touchdowns, 103 carries) and McDonald (109 yards, 2 touchdowns, 17 carries).

Collier said South will attempt to pressure DeMars into making poor decisions.

"You have to keep coming strong and blitz even faster," Collier said. "You have to keep the outside-contain. You can't let him get to the outside." South coach Rocky Pentello said his defense should be aided by facing the Wildcats' offense every day in practice.

"I know (DeMars) is high in the area stats and has good receivers," Pentello said. "I know it will help our defense, playing against a passing team in practice. They may be a passing team, but they might not be the same type of passing team that we are."