As the Dublin Scioto High School football team prepares for its OCC-Cardinal Division contest Friday at Westerville South, it might pull out the game film from its opener.

As the Dublin Scioto High School football team prepares for its OCC-Cardinal Division contest Friday at Westerville South, it might pull out the game film from its opener.

Irish quarterback Charlie Suich was harassed by Pickerington North's defense in a 12-7 loss on Aug. 29, and Scioto is sure to face an even stronger blitz from the Wildcats, who entered the season with nine returning starters on defense.

"It's a very physical and fast defense, and they're very good up front," Scioto coach Karl Johnson said. "They pressure you into making mistakes. We got our first win last week, but we certainly need to get better if we want to compete for the league championship."

The winner of Friday's contest will share the top spot in the OCC-Cardinal standings with either Dublin Jerome or Olentangy Liberty at 2-0.

Scioto improved to 1-3 overall with a 14-12 win over Olentangy last Friday. The Irish blocked an extra point and broke up a two-point conversion pass.

South, led by quarterback Tevin Favor's three touchdown passes, defeated Westerville Central 28-7 last Friday to improve to 2-2 overall.

The Wildcats have won the last two meetings, including last season's come-from-behind 24-20 victory at Scioto.

"Scioto is always big and physical and they usually run the ball well," said South coach Rocky Pentello, whose team lost to Hilliard Davidson by one point and Watterson by six in its first two games. "Our kids just have to come into this game and play like we've been playing. We just can't turn the ball over, and we've got to cut down the penalties. We've had problems with that in our losses."

Friday could mark the return of South senior quarterback Jonathan Jennings (6-foot-1, 180 pounds). He has been out with a broken clavicle suffered during a scrimmage with Olentangy Orange on Aug. 18.

Jennings started the final two games last season for the Wildcats when three-year starter Cortez Fleming was out with an injury. Jennings completed 26 of 72 passes for 494 yards.

He's been anxious to get back on the field, and admits when the time comes, he'll be somewhat nervous.

He's tried to make the best of his time on the sideline.

"It's definitely helped me in giving me a different aspect of the game," Jennings said. "I think I'm going to be more coachable in knowing my assignments better and just reading defenses."

Suich is making better decisions and improving his game. Last Friday, he completed eight of 15 passes for 85 yards and rushed for 26.

"We definitely thought we were going to be better than 0-3 to start the season, but we got our first win and it's a new season," Suich said. "It's league play now, and we just have to keep going."

Scioto's offense is averaging 11 points per game, but its defense has kept the Irish in every game, excluding a 30-16 loss at Toledo Central Catholic on Sept. 4.

"Outside of four minutes in that game against Toledo we've put ourselves in situations to win," Johnson said. "Last week, I thought we moved the ball better and we had good field position for much of the first half. It's going to take that kind of effort this week."

Next game

DUBLIN SCIOTO at SOUTH

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

•Last meeting: 2008, South 24-20

•Scioto (1-3, 1-0 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Lost to Pickerington North 12-7; lost to Toledo Central Catholic 30-16; lost to Worthington Kilbourne 9-7; defeated Olentangy 14-12

•South (2-2, 1-0 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Lost to Hilliard Davidson 21-20; lost to Watterson 16-10; def. Clayton Northmont 17-7; def. Westerville Central 28-7

•Top Irish: Stacey Blunt (DB), Francesco Felice (DL), Alex Gordon (RB/LB), Spencer Grummel (LB), Chris Latimer (OL), Grant Pleasant (DL), Clay Strawser (RB) and Charlie Suich (QB)

•Top Wildcats: Ryan Barber (WR), Tevin Favor (QB), Jayshon Jackson (WR), Jonathon Jennings (QB), Jack Tomlinson (WR) and Jamar Williams (LB)