The Olentangy Liberty High School football team begins a two-week tour of its district when the Patriots travel to Olentangy Orange on Friday, Aug. 24, to play the opener for both teams.

The Olentangy Liberty High School football team begins a two-week tour of its district when the Patriots travel to Olentangy Orange on Friday, Aug. 24, to play the opener for both teams.

On Aug. 31, Liberty plays host to Olentangy.

"Obviously when you play a district team -- like we do in the first two weeks of season -- it's going to be a game everyone gets up for," Liberty coach Steve Hale said.

Liberty and Orange have played twice, with the home team winning both contests. Liberty won 29-14 in 2010 and Orange won 22-8 last season.

"Our players get charged up for these games and it's a big game for both schools," Orange coach Brian Cross said. "It's also Friday night and the first game under the lights. That also makes it special."

Liberty returns a veteran group on both sides of the ball from a team that finished 6-4 last season. Senior quarterback Joey Longhino (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) broke the program record for passing yards, finishing with 1,881 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

"I know they have six or seven starters back on offense and seven on defense," Cross said of Liberty, which won five of its final six games last season. "They have a pretty veteran team that finished strong and should be a solid football team."

The Pioneers finished 8-3 last season, losing to Hilliard Davidson 22-0 in a first-round Division I, Region 3 playoff game.

Orange senior quarterback Kofi Hill (6-2, 205) completed 39 of 81 passes for 729 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions last season. Senior fullback Mike Forbes is the top returning rusher with 601 yards.

"They like to pound the ball and they have an extremely talented quarterback," Hale said. "We have to keep (Hill) under wraps. He does a little of everything, being a big, fast kid who can throw the ball a long way."