Coach Mike LoParo hopes history repeats itself for his Hilliard Bradley High School football team.
The Jaguars will play host to Dublin Scioto on Friday, Sept. 29, in an OCC-Cardinal Division contest. The Irish hold a 4-3 advantage in the series, in which the home team has won each game.
Bradley defeated Scioto in 2011 (39-10), 2013 (34-28 in overtime) and 2015 (34-31), while the Irish won in 2010 (17-7), 2012 (28-27), 2014 (13-7) and last season (20-6).
“We have never won at their place and they have never won here,” said LoParo, whose team is 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the league. “So it’s helpful that it’s here this season.
“(The Irish) have gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season. They have good athletes and speed all over the place. On defense, they run and tackle well and are really physical.”
The Irish are 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal and are coming off a 10-0 win over Delaware on Sept. 22 in which quarterback Kyron Rogers hit Eric Holsinger on a 76-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
“Scioto’s quarterback is a pretty nifty player,” LoParo said. “He worries me because he scrambles well and makes good decisions. He will put you in a scramble drill quite a bit, so you have to keep him in the pocket.”
The Jaguars were 5-0 last season before Scioto handed them their only regular-season loss. Senior offensive lineman Obi Igwe said the players must remain focused and be ready for anything against the Irish.
“They threw a lot at us last year and we really weren’t prepared for that,” Igwe said. “It comes down to our focus and effort. Right now, our biggest enemy has been ourselves. We have to expect more out of each other and do everything we can to be ready when we face them this week.”
The Jaguars defeated Thomas Worthington 31-17 in a league game Sept. 22, but the visiting Cardinals gave them all they could handle. The Cardinals led 17-14 at halftime, marking the first time this season that Bradley trailed after two quarters.
“If we’re going to reach 6-0 for the first time, we have to have a much better week of preparation and more focus,” LoParo said. “Thomas gave us a big wake-up call. Let’s hope it woke us up.”
Bradley shut out the Cardinals in the second half. Chris Mayfield had two interceptions and one sack, and Cole Komlosi also intercepted a pass.
Offensively for the Jaguars, quarterback Josh Stewart completed 15 of 28 passes for 280 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Daevon Anderson caught seven passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and Kory Taylor had five receptions for 48 yards. Grant Buehl had 61 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 carries and Jack Richards added 69 yards on the ground on six carries.