It's finally here. Opening night of the high school football season kicks off. Below are Week 1 previews of area teams:

It's finally here. Opening night of the high school football season kicks off. Below are Week 1 previews of area teams:

UPPER ARLINGTON at DRESDEN TRI-VALLEY

During the offseason, the Upper Arlington High School football team switched from a 3-5 base defense to a 4-2 in an effort to strengthen its play against the run and apply more pressure on opposing quarterbacks without blitzing.

The Golden Bears' new-look defense figures to be tested in UA's opener Friday, Aug. 26, at Dresden Tri-Valley.

Tri-Valley, which uses a spread offense, finished 9-3 last season and made the Division II, Region 7 playoffs, upsetting undefeated New Albany 30-27 in double overtime in the first round before losing to Uniontown Lake 42-28 in the second round.

UA, which finished 6-4 last season, handed Tri-Valley one of its losses a year ago, beating the Scotties 24-17 in the opener. With the game tied at 17, the Bears drove 80 yards in the final 46 seconds, capping the six-play drive with a 38-yard touchdown pass from 2011 graduate Jake Johns to senior wide receiver and Ohio State recruit Frank Epitropoulos with 7 seconds remaining.

UA's wing-T offense produced 384 total yards but managed just 88 rushing on 28 carries, with senior Ryan McSheffery gaining 37 yards on 11 carries.

Tri-Valley junior quarterback Nathan Strock (6-foot-3, 180 pounds), the nephew of former NFL quarterback Don Strock, completed nine of 22 passes for 164 yards with a touchdown and an interception against UA. He finished last season with more than 1,600 yards passing and 22 touchdowns.

The Scotties' running game is led by junior Austin Jones (5-9, 172), who rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries against UA and finished last season with more than 1,100 yards rushing.

"They have a very good quarterback (Strock) coming back and a very good running back (Jones) coming back," Bears coach Mike Golden said. "And we have to go there, and I know they'll have the whole town there."

UA held Tri-Valley to 273 total yards last year, including 109 rushing, and forced two turnovers. Senior linebacker Francis Wilamosky recovered a fumble and senior defensive back Garrett Powers had an interception.

This year's matchup will be senior David Smith's first start at quarterback.

-By Patrick Dolan