The high school football season continues as league races begin to take shape for most area squads. Here is a look at Week 6 matchups for local teams:

The high school football season continues as league races begin to take shape for most area squads. Here is a look at Week 6 matchups for local teams:

Marysville and Westerville Central will look to keep their OCC-Cardinal Division title hopes alive when they meet Friday, Sept. 30, at Central.

The Monarchs are tied for first place in the league with Westerville South at 2-0.

Marysville will play host to South on Oct. 7.

Central, which lost to South 28-22 on Sept. 16, is coming off a 41-8 win over Westerville North on Sept. 23.

Marysville improved to 2-0 in league play for the first time in coach Jeff Gafford’s five seasons with a 14-13, triple-overtime win over Olentangy on Sept. 23.

“We’ve never been 1-0 in the league, we’ve never been 2-0 in the league,” Gafford said. “You can’t do the roller coaster and have a great season. You’ve got to keep climbing. We’ll see what happens.”

Against Olentangy, senior running back Kody Davisson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. For the season, Davisson has 445 yards and five touchdowns on 77 carries.

“As always, Marysville is a team that has great size and strength and executes (its) offense very efficiently,” Central coach John Magistro said. “They are fundamentally sound and very seldom beat themselves. We must play errorless football to beat them.”

Central’s spread offense has been led by senior quarterback Cody Kondas, who has completed 53 of 93 passes for 740 yards and eight touchdowns with six interceptions, and rushed for 194 yards and six touchdowns on 55 carries.

Senior running back Josh Gardy has rushed for a team-high 429 yards with a touchdown on 84 carries. Senior Jalen Liggins has added 274 yards and a touchdown on 51 carries.

“Central is a great football team,” Gafford said. “They’ve always had a lot of talent and they’re 4-1 and we’re 4-1. Right now, we’re in first in the league. Do we stay in first or do we drop to second place?”

Central defeated Marysville 23-20 last season, but the Monarchs lead the series 3-2.

—Frank DiRenna

The matchup between host Dublin Scioto and Westerville North on Friday, Sept. 30, brings together two struggling programs in a battle to emerge from last place in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

A 41-8 loss to Westerville Central on Sept. 23 was the 30th in a row for the Warriors, who dropped to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the league. The Warriors’ last win was 21-7 over Central on Sept. 19, 2008.

Scioto’s 45-42 loss to Westerville South on Sept. 23 left the Irish at 1-4 and 0-2. Three of the four losses have been by 10 points or fewer.

Not since 2007 has Scioto produced a winning record in its first five games.

“We’re just working to get better in every area,” Scioto coach Karl Johnson said. “Regardless of their record, we’re not going to overlook them, especially when we’re 1-4 right now. We’re going to practice hard and be prepared to play our best football.”

William Houston has been Scioto’s offensive workhorse with 465 yards on 98 carries and 10 touchdowns. He rushed for four touchdowns against South, which rallied from nine points down in the fourth quarter.

The Irish defense is allowing 35.6 points per game.

The Warriors’ only touchdown against Central was a 70-yard run by quarterback B.J. Campfield.

Scioto has won all three OCC-Cardinal meetings with North — 26-14 last year, 34-7 in 2009 and 17-16 in 2008.

—Scott Gerfen

Westerville South will attempt to utilize a balanced offensive attack when it plays host to Dublin Jerome in an OCC-Cardinal Division game on Friday, Sept. 30.

The Wildcats feature a trio of big-play skill players in quarterback Marcus Ball, running back Daxton Cates and wide receiver Gary Brown.

During South’s 45-42 home victory over Dublin Scioto on Sept. 23, Ball was 13-for-19 passing for 216 yards and four touchdowns, and he returned an interception 33 yards for a score while playing free safety.

Brown had eight receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns, and Cates rushed for 106 yards and two scores on 22 carries as the Wildcats improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

Jerome’s defense gave up 256 yards during a 20-16 loss at Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 23. The Celtics dropped to 1-4 and 1-1.

“We haven’t been like this since year three (of our program),” Jerome coach Mark Hundley said. “I don’t know how the guys are going to react, but we’re going to find out.”

The Celtics’ defense has given up 19 points per game, while South’s offense is averaging 33.6 points.

“We just want to keep playing the way we do, mixing the pass and run,” Ball said. “Defenses are struggling to stop us when we’re playing well. But we need to make sure we don’t stop ourselves with penalties or turnovers, because that’s been a problem in some games.”

Jerome’s offense has moved the ball the past two games.

The Celtics had 417 yards inÊa 49-2 win over Westerville North on Sept. 16 and 361 yards against Liberty, as running back Donovan Wilson scored on runs of 80 and 3 yards.

Quarterback Joe Bano will look to throw downfield to Iowa recruit Cameron Wilson against a South defense that is giving up 30 points a game.

Against Scioto, the Wildcats allowed 281 passing yards and 156 rushing yards, although Ball and Brown each had interceptions.

The WildcatsÊbeat Jerome 35-23 last year. South coach Rocky Pentello said his team could be in for another battle after having to rally from a 10-point deficit to defeat Scioto, which also is 1-4 overall.

“Our guys have been up and down all season, so it doesn’t matter if Dublin Jerome is struggling because we never know which team is going to show up,” Pentello said. “We know we need to play well to win this game.”

—Aaron Blankenship