Football Week 4 Preview

Westerville South (1-2) at Westerville Central (3-0)

Bragging rights and a 1-0 start in the OCC-Cardinal Division will be on the line when Westerville South visits Westerville Central on Friday, Sept. 16.

After beating Groveport 47-18 in their opener Aug. 26, the Wildcats have lost twice, including 41-34 at Grove City on Sept. 9. South led 34-20 in the fourth quarter before the Dawgs rallied for their first win of the season.

“When you lose your last two, you want to try to turn things around, but we’re definitely the underdog,” South coach Rocky Pentello said. “They’re 3-0 and they deserve to be. I’ve watched film on them, they’re very good.”

South is seeking its fourth consecutive OCC-Cardinal title. The Wildcats were 6-1 in the league last season, with the lone loss to Olentangy Liberty 39-27.

Central is off to the best start in program history after beating Thomas Worthington 28-13 on Sept. 9.

The Wildcats won the previous four meetings, including 21-14 at home last season. The Warhawks were driving for the potential tying score in the fourth quarter but were turned back by an Evan Lese interception.

Quarterback Cody Kondas, who has led Central’s resurgence, was lost for the season on that late drive a year ago with a knee injury.

Kondas, who also has excelled at middle linebacker, has completed 33 of 57 passes for 445 yards and six touchdowns.

Central coach John Magistro hopes his team can be successful against South’s aggressive defense.

“Defensively, they’re a blitzing team,” Magistro said. “They like to come after you and disrupt your offense, so we have to be ready for that. Last year we did a nice job of picking up the blitzes and this year we have to do a better job of it.”

South played last week without quarterback Marcus Ball, who sustained a concussion in a 27-14 loss to Dublin Coffman on Sept. 2. Lese, a senior safety, also missed the game with a knee injury. Pentello said both players are questionable for the Central game.

Despite playing without Ball, South moved the ball effectively against Grove City and had 573 total yards. Quarterback Nick Renzetti completed 16 of 28 passes for 301 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Running back Daxton Cates added 217 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns, and has 684 yards and five touchdowns on 77 carries overall.

—Frank DiRenna