Once again, the game between New Albany and Olentangy Orange will impact the OCC-Capital Division race.

Once again, the game between New Albany and Olentangy Orange will impact the OCC-Capital Division race.

After losing to Big Walnut 35-34 on Sept. 24, Orange is hoping not to fall two games behind New Albany in the league.

The Eagles, coming off a 45-22 victory over Watkins Memorial on Sept. 23, have a chance to take a commanding lead over the Pioneers by winning Friday, Sept. 30, at Orange.

"They run a wing-T. They're going to be fundamentally sound. They're going to look a lot like us," said New Albany coach Mark Mueller, whose team is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Capital. "It's going to be their homecoming, so they're going to be ready to play football."

This is New Albany's first trip to Orange, which has been in the league since the school's inaugural season in 2008. The past two games have been played in Crew Stadium. New Albany won 28-21 last year on its way to capturing the OCC-Capital title at 7-0, two games ahead of Orange, Big Walnut and Mount Vernon.

New Albany showed off its offense against Watkins Memorial, scoring 42 points in the first half. Zach Tomi, who started the season splitting time at quarterback with Darron Lee, has taken over full time and was 10-for-11 passing for 160 yards and four touchdowns.

Tomi's effectiveness enabled the Eagles to rest starting running backs Connor Wilson and Dan Brittan, both of whom played sparingly as Hayden George received the bulk of the carries. George rushed six times for 72 yards.

Leading Orange is running back Brandon Schoen, who rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries against Big Walnut. He also had an 87-yard kickoff return and an 18-yard interception return for scores.

Orange had a 34-21 lead late in the third quarter when it had an extra point blocked. After Big Walnut took the lead, Orange's Bryan Schrader missed a 22-yard field goal wide right with 1 minute, 48 seconds remaining.

"This one is going to sting … but we have to put it behind us," said Orange coach Brian Cross, whose team is 3-2 and 1-1. "New Albany has a good nucleus back and they won the league last year, so we have to be ready to play."