The Central Crossing and Whitehall-Yearling high school football teams both open on the road.

The Central Crossing and Whitehall-Yearling high school football teams both open on the road.

The teams meet for the first time Friday, Aug. 24, and the contest will be played at Bexley because of a renovation project at Whitehall. The Rams will play all of their home games this season at neutral sites.

It will be the first game for Whitehall coach Jake Kuhner, who was an assistant last season under Greg Lahr.

"A big thing is we have to stay to our principals offensively and defensively, especially on defense flying around to the ball," Kuhner said. "We have to take on our responsibilities. Offensively, we have to establish a run game."

Last season, Whitehall won three of its last four games to finish 6-4. Central Crossing finished 1-9, with the win coming in the season finale 34-12 over Westland.

Central Crossing should be led by senior running back Tory Clark (6-foot, 195 pounds), who has received interest from several Division I colleges.

Junior Luke Duncan (6-2, 170) will start at quarterback and senior Jakob Welch (5-9, 165) should be a key receiver.

Senior linebacker Trevor Brown (5-11, 210), junior defensive end Jack Whitlock (6-2, 205) and sophomore defensive end Shane Maxey (6-3, 235) should lead the Comets on defense.

For Whitehall, junior Cody Koons (6-0, 175) took over at quarterback midway through last season and will guide the team's spread, no-huddle offense.

Senior Paulus Thomas (5-6, 155) and junior B.J. Upchurch (5-9, 180) are the top threats in the backfield.

Senior Alex Farrow (5-8, 235) and sophomore Brandon Buchert (6-0, 225) will play on the offensive and defensive lines. Senior Nick Wright (5-10, 220) will be at tight end and on the defensive line.

"It should be a pretty even matchup," Central Crossing coach Chris Harr said. "They have a little fast tailback (Upchurch) that is pretty good and they have a really solid defense. We were most impressed with their defense. They have really good cornerbacks, and they run a 3-5 as well as a 4-3."