The Gahanna Lincoln High School football team will face the first of four consecutive 2016 playoff teams on its schedule when it plays host Friday, Sept. 8, to Cincinnati Elder.

The Panthers went 6-5 last season and opened with wins over West Chester Lakota West (21-7 on Aug. 25) and Cincinnati Oak Hills (41-12 on Sept. 2).

Elder has attempted to mix it up on offense with senior Danny Nieman, a 6-foot-5, 205-pounder, at quarterback.

In the opener, Nieman completed 22 of 34 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown. His top targets were junior Kyle Trischler (9 catches for 77 yards) and seniors Danny Faillace (4 catches for 34 yards, 1 touchdown) and Jack O’Brien (4 catches for 47 yards).

Also against Lakota West, junior Luke Massminster rushed 18 times for 64 yards and junior Michael Bittner, who also serves as the backup quarterback, had 13 rushes for 87 yards and two scores.

They run behind a line that features senior Bryce Martin (6-3, 255), who has committed to Tennessee Tech as a tight end.

The Lions opened with a 24-3 victory over Westerville Central on Aug. 25 and beat Westerville South 34-0 on Sept. 1.

Justus Harris rushed for 169 yards and one touchdown and added two touchdown receptions against South. The Lions’ defense held the Wildcats to 79 total yards.

Gahanna will face a defense that features senior linebacker Jared Tepe (6-0, 215), senior defensive back T.J. Kearns (6-1, 185) and junior lineman Spencer Bono (6-4, 230).

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek