The New Albany and Westerville Central high school football teams will meet Friday, Sept. 6, at Central in a matchup of squads that won convincingly in week one.
New Albany defeated Reynoldsburg 38-20 on Aug. 30 behind junior running back Christo Semertsidis, who rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.
Semertsidis, who was starting in place of the injured Leslie Anokye, left the game with a leg injury after one carry in the third quarter and did not return.
“They beat a very athletic Reynoldsburg team and really have an explosive running game,” Central coach John Magistro said of New Albany.
The Warhawks opened Aug. 30 with a 29-7 win over DeSales. Senior quarterback Jared Drake threw three touchdown passes including two to Eldin Anu, with the final one covering 80 yards.
Drake was 15-for-22 passing for 253 yards. Senior running back Alex Fisher rushed for 58 yards and had two receptions for 57 yards. Anu had five catches for 107 yards.
“We know Westerville Central has a lot of talent and a lot of athletes,” New Albany coach Pat Samanich said. “They have a heck of a quarterback and offensive line and they are well-coached. We’re going to watch the film and correct our mistakes.”
Senior Nick Richardson, a University of Kentucky recruit, anchors Central’s offensive line at left tackle.
Magistro expects to face a tough test from New Albany’s 3-5-3 defense.
“I saw them in a scrimmage and they’re a typical New Albany team,” Magistro said. “They’re quick and they’ve got a good defense. We saw them against Canal Winchester, which is a good team, and I was impressed.”
The all-time series is tied at three, with the latest meeting coming last season when the Warhawks won 23-20 in overtime.
While Central went 7-3 and missed the Division I, Region 3 playoffs by one spot a year ago, New Albany reached a Division II state semifinal before losing to Trotwood-Madison 33-32 to finish 11-3. The Eagles went 7-0 in the OCC-Capital Division to win their fourth consecutive league championship.
Before the game, Central will recognize its all-time football team to help commemorate the school’s 10-year anniversary.