In last season's meeting, the Watterson High School football team beat Westerville South 51-7, handing South coach Rocky Pentello the worst loss of his 18-year tenure.

In last season's meeting, the Watterson High School football team beat Westerville South 51-7, handing South coach Rocky Pentello the worst loss of his 18-year tenure.

The teams will face each other again Friday at South, and both are trying to forget what happened a year ago. For the Wildcats, the reason is obvious.

"They destroyed us," Pentello said. "All I can remember is we didn't do well on any level."

"This is a whole different season," said South lineman Mike Koozer, whose team lost its opener to Hilliard Davidson 35-0 last Friday. "(Last year's loss) just gets you more pumped for this game. I believe we can beat Watterson as long as we don't beat ourselves."

Given its 29-23 loss to Willoughby South last Friday, Watterson isn't interested in paying too much attention to last season's game, either. The Eagles had beaten Willoughby South by 38 points a year ago, and some of the players felt overconfidence played a role last Friday.

"I think we came in there and thought we could beat them just as easily," tight end Colin Boone said. "We got up 7-0 on them and thought we could keep them down. But they just kept going and going."

Willoughby South quarterback Patrick Nicely, a 6-foot-4 Bowling Green recruit, led his team's spread offense to 450 yards, many coming on long passes.

South also runs a spread offense.

"We need to get a lot better," Watterson coach Dan Bjelac said.

Running back Kevin Obyc led Watterson last Friday with 179 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. Fullback Jordan Gelhaus and halfback Mark Theado combined for 221 yards.

Mistakes were the biggest concern for South in its loss to Davidson. The Wildcats committed four turnovers, gave up a safety and had a field goal blocked.

"We beat ourselves," Koozer said. "We didn't even give Davidson a chance to beat us."

Quarterback Cortez Fleming, starting for the second season, threw three interceptions and lost a fumble for the first time in his career.

"Some of it was pass protection, some receivers didn't run the right routes, and some was structural problems from the offensive staff," Pentello said.

Pentello thought the Eagles seemed on film to be a typical Watterson team -- disciplined and physical.

"They're a tough opponent for us right now," he said. "It's tough that we have to play good teams early before the kids can get confidence and experience. But that's just the way we have to roll with it."

Bjelac said Watterson wasn't reading too much into Fleming's struggles, and thought the defense was going to have make strides to limit his ability to find South's speedy receivers. Ryan Barber caught seven passes last Friday for 61 yards.

"You've got to pick your poison," Bjelac said. "We have to figure out what we're going to take away and make sure they don't have that option."

Next game

SOUTH vs. WATTERSON

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

•Last meeting: 2007, Watterson 51-7

•Watterson to date: Lost to Willoughby South 29-23

•Top Eagles: Colin Boone, Jordan Gelhaus, Kevin Obyc, Zach Shepard and Seth Willoughby