Westerville News & Public Opinion


Irish looking to rebound from first loss


Dublin Scioto High School football coach Karl Johnson expects to learn a lot about his team when it plays host to Westerville Central on Friday, Sept. 20, in the OCC-Cardinal Division opener.

The Irish lost 30-28 at Marysville on Sept. 13 after winning their first two games over Worthington Kilbourne (22-21 on Aug. 30) and Dublin Coffman (30-17 on Sept. 6).

"We're going to find out if we're going to man up and get after it and rally together and stick together," Johnson said. "If you would've told me in the preseason that we'd be 2-1 at this point with who we were playing, I'd be happy. We had a chance to be 3-0, but we didn't get it done. Now you've got to come together and find out who's going to stick together and get better (this) week."

Central also is 2-1 after it bounced back from a 57-50 loss to New Albany on Sept. 6 to defeat host Independence 54-32 on Sept. 13.

Last season, Scioto defeated Central 34-14 on its way to a 5-2 record in the league, while the Warhawks went 4-3.

Central's spread offense is led by senior quarterback Jared Drake, who has completed 50 of 80 passes for 686 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.

Wide receiver Micah Lowe has 12 receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Alex Fisher has rushed for 168 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries.

"Drake is a great quarterback who can make plays," Johnson said. "We've got to be ready to move the ball on offense and put the ball in the end zone. We did a decent job of moving the ball against Marysville, but you can't shoot yourself in the foot the number of times that we did (with five turnovers)."

Against Independence, Central running back Benny Snell rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns.

"We did some very good things," coach John Magistro said. "There's times when we show signs of being an awfully good football team and there are times when we have to be a little more consistent with it. We can't keep repeating mistakes. You sort of get behind."

Scioto quarterback Nathan Densel has completed 55 of 96 passes for 525 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. He also has rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Running back Darius McDonald has 191 yards rushing and one touchdown on 45 carries, and 19 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior linebacker Nick Conner leads the team in tackles with 23.5.

"Once again, offensively, they're doing some real nice things. They move the football fast," Magistro said of Scioto. "Defensively, they have the linebacker (Conner) who played last year, so they're very sound."

Magistro said with league action starting, it's time for Central to play its best.

"We feel like we're getting into some real tough games," he said. "There's no team that we can't beat, but there's no team we can't lose to. It depends on how you come out and play."