Record-wise, the New Albany High School football team finds itself with the same record through four games -- 1-3 -- as last year.

Whether the Eagles can repeat the eight-game winning streak that followed remains to be seen, but they hope to take a step in the right direction Friday, Sept. 22, when they play host to Westerville North.

A shorthanded New Albany team lost its second consecutive game Sept. 15, falling 40-20 at Gahanna.

Michiah Burton rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and caught a pass for 49 yards.

Ty Ward had a 1-yard touchdown run, and Luke Dovell added a 9-yard scoring run.

Jalin Jackson played quarterback in place of Paxon Hunter, completing three of seven passes for 51 yards as the Eagles were outgained 422-241. Hunter did not play, but coach Pat Samanich did not elaborate on the reason.

"We're having issues just like any other team at this point of the season, whether it's injuries or disciplinary issues. It's not an excuse for anything, just our reality right now," Samanich said. "We've laid out a difficult blueprint (with a 1-3 record) and we're not looking down the road at all."

North improved to 2-2 with a 47-21 win over Canal Winchester on Sept. 15.

It was the Warriors' highest scoring output since a 48-21 win over Franklin Heights to begin the 2013 season -- a game that also ended the program's 45-game losing streak -- but North's defense helped steal the show.

Linebackers Alek Downs and Robert Robinson had interception returns for touchdowns, and the Warriors outgained the Indians 340-180. Downs' 25-yard return came late in the second quarter to give North a 21-6 lead, and after the Indians got within 21-14 early in the third, Robinson turned momentum back in North's favor with his 70-yard return.

Bodi Bien rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, and Reno Godfrey completed nine of 24 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.

New Albany defeated North 40-14 last year, the first of a six-game losing streak for the Warriors to end the season.

"They're doing more with the spread than they did last year, then they go back to two-back sets," Samanich said.

"They've definitely had another year in the weight room. Their front seven is improved and they have tall guys out on the edge that give you problems. They have a system they believe in and it's going to be a heck of a challenge."

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave