Yellow Jackets (6-2, 4-1 in OCC-Capital) Braves (6-2, 3-2)
Instead of fighting for the OCC-Capital title with two weeks to go in the regular season, Olentangy and Mount Vernon will meet Friday, Oct. 25, trying to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Olentangy enters at 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the league, with a 33-0 loss at Worthington Kilbourne on Oct. 18 being the Braves' second consecutive setback after a 6-0 start. Mount Vernon also is 6-2 overall but 4-1 in the OCC-Capital, with its only league loss coming to Kilbourne, 41-14 on Sept. 27.
Kilbourne and New Albany, both of which are 5-0 in the OCC-Capital, face off Friday, Oct. 25, at New Albany.
Mount Vernon and Olentangy both need help to make the playoffs in Division II, Region 5. Mount Vernon was projected to be 11th and Olentangy 15th in this week's computer ratings. The top eight teams make the playoffs.
The Braves' offense is run by sophomore quarterback Deeb Haber, who has thrown four interceptions the past two weeks and is 82-for-130 passing for 895 yards with seven touchdowns overall. His deep corps of receivers includes seniors Anthony Allocco, Victor Elmurr, J.T. Grega and Hayden Hunter, who is primarily a running back.
Mount Vernon clinched its first winning season since 2010 and its second since 2003 with a 42-28 win over Delaware on Oct. 18. Junior running back J.D. Orr rushed for 214 yards on 33 carries, with 173 of those yards coming in a 28-point fourth quarter in which he had touchdowns of 50 and 1 yard. The shorter scoring run iced the win with 1 minute, 29 seconds to play. Orr earlier had scored from 17 yards.
An experienced offensive line led by juniors Jeep Cochran, Alec Curts and Kyle Stump has paved the way for the Yellow Jackets to average 35.9 points. The quarterback is junior Ryan Fitzgerald, who previously played at Newark Catholic but transferred to his hometown school before this season.
Dave Purpura also contributed to this story.