Life is good for the New Albany High School football team. Everything it set out to accomplish this season still lies ahead. After clobbering Delaware 41-3 last Friday, the Eagles are 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Capital Division.

Life is good for the New Albany High School football team. Everything it set out to accomplish this season still lies ahead. After clobbering Delaware 41-3 last Friday, the Eagles are 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Capital Division.

They have wrapped up at least a share of the OCC-Capital Division title and a spot in the Division II, Region 7 playoffs. It's been four years since the Eagles have been able to call themselves a playoff team. They have never gone undefeated.

"It means everything," offensive lineman Clark Hillenbrand said. "We're trying to be the first undefeated team in New Albany. It feels good that we're chasing history to make the playoffs, but we're making history too."

With all that to play for, don't expect to see New Albany taking it easy on Mount Vernon on Friday. Mount Vernon has played New Albany tough the last two years that the two teams have been part of the OCC-Capital, and after beating Big Walnut 36-33 last Friday, the Yellow Jackets have New Albany's full attention.

Last season New Albany needed a late touchdown to beat Mount Vernon 15-10. In 2008, New Albany squeezed out a 3-0 win. At 6-3 overall and 5-1 in the OCC-Capital, Mount Vernon is seeking a share of the league title.

New Albany shared the OCC-Capital title last year with Olentangy Orange and it didn't work out too well for the Eagles. They were left sitting at home when the playoffs started. New Albany might not be sitting out the postseason this year, but sharing the league title would feel like a setback.

"I think (finishing undefeated is) important because this is a team that has been taking us to that next level," coach Mark Mueller said. "It's important for this class to keep making a good mark. None of them had been to the playoffs. They're the first to get us there in Division II and they've won back-to-back OCC titles."

This isn't the first time New Albany has gone into the final game of the season undefeated in Mueller's tenure. In his first season in 2005, the Eagles were 9-0 heading into the final game of the season against Licking Valley. The Eagles lost 16-0 and their season ended with a 35-14 loss to DeSales in a regional semifinal.

Mueller said there are some similarities between the seasons, but this one stands out because of the type of schedule the Eagles played this year.

New Albany has beaten four teams this season with winning records, not including the 13-10 overtime win at DeSales on Sept. 10. DeSales dropped to 4-5 after losing to Cincinnati LaSalle 33-30 last Friday. Mueller called that a statement win, something his team didn't have in 2005.

The Eagles were 6-4 in 2006, when they won a Division III regional championship. They have had better records in the three seasons since but failed to make the playoffs. Weaker non-league schedules were partly to blame in those seasons.

Not only did the non-league schedule this season include DeSales, but also Licking Valley, a team New Albany beat 26-10 on Aug. 27. Licking Valley beat Columbus Academy 35-13 last Friday to improve to 7-2.

It was the start of what's become one of the program's standout seasons.

"It's been great," Hillenbrand said. "We have tons of people coming out to the games. I've never seen the kids more into this year. Monday and Tuesday people (at school) are talking about the past game. On Wednesday everyone's talking about what's coming up."

This time next week, what's coming up will be the playoffs.