After a disappointing performance in a 34-0 loss to Gahanna on Sept. 1, Westerville South High School football coach Matthew Christ saw vast improvement from his team in a 23-18 loss to Hilliard Darby on Sept. 8.

Christ hopes the progress continues when the Wildcats visit Upper Arlington on Friday, Sept. 15.

The Wildcats are 1-2 and the Golden Bears are 2-1 heading into their third consecutive game against an opponent from Westerville.

“I was very pleased with the way we competed all night (against Darby). I thought we played hard,” Christ said. “We blew a couple big opportunities that could have won that game for us. (That was) a tough pill to swallow and it doesn’t get any easier this week with Upper Arlington, so back to work.”

The Bears rebounded from a 31-21 loss to Westerville Central on Sept. 1 to defeat Westerville North 24-14 on Sept. 8.

“UA runs different formations offensively,” Christ said. “You need to be comfortable adjusting (to) double tight, single tight end, no tight end. They’ve played everybody very tough. It’s going to be a good challenge for us. Defensively, they seem pretty stout.”

Through three games, South quarterback Max Barber has completed 22 of 46 passes for 425 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Jaelen Gill, an Ohio State recruit, has 208 yards rushing and 208 yards receiving with seven touchdowns.

Michael McLemore has nine catches for 122 yards and one touchdown.

Against Darby, Barber passed for 221 yards and Gill had 126 yards receiving.

Quarterback Sammy Sass led UA against North, as he completed 10 of 20 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 31-yard run.

“This is part of being in the OCC,” Christ said. “Everybody we play is probably going to be pretty solid. We don’t shy away from competing at all and we need to have a good week of preparation and go down to Upper Arlington and see what we can get done.”

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