On the final play of the first offensive series for the Olentangy Liberty High School football team in a 17-0 opening loss Aug. 24 at Pickerington North, senior quarterback Mitchell Okuley sustained an ankle injury and did not return.
Although there were no fractures and the prognosis appears positive, according to coach Steve Hale, Okuley's status for Liberty's home opener Friday, Aug. 31, against Cleveland Glenville is uncertain.
If he's unable to play, junior Corbin Parrish likely will get the call.
Parrish completed nine of 21 passes for 82 yards filling in for Okuley, hooking up with Kyle Wilson four times for 39 yards and two times each with Mitchell Kershner (21 yards) and Chase Miley (15 yards).
Aidan Kenley had 19 rushes for 44 yards and a 22-yard reception from Okuley, who threw for 31 touchdowns last season and has been at least a part-time starter since his sophomore season.
"It's next guy up and how do we respond to situations," Hale said. "I thought Corbin came in and did an admirable job for the situation we put him in. It took a little time. He's never played quarterback in a varsity game so I was really proud of the way he performed and stepped in against one of the better teams in the state.
"That's why we schedule these games. We want to find out. We've got Glenville at home. We challenge ourselves early."
The Tarblooders are coming off a 7-4 season in which they lost their first three games and won their next seven to make the Division III, Region 10 playoffs. They also lost their first three in 2016, including falling at Liberty 24-20 in Week 2, before going on to finish 7-4.
On Aug. 24, Glenville opened with a 42-17 loss to Euclid, which was a Division I regional semifinalist last season.
The Tarblooders have a new quarterback in junior William Anglen, who threw a 14-yard touchdown to junior Torrance Davis against Euclid. Their other touchdown came on a 17-yard fumble return by senior defensive lineman Quartez Heards.
Senior A.J. Morris leads the defense at middle linebacker. Senior Courdale Williams is another key defensive lineman.
Against North, senior lineman Jamie Hessing, junior lineman Ben Flees, senior linebacker Nick Paolo and senior defensive back Grant Wilson were among the standouts defensively, according to Hale.
"Glenville is incredibly big and incredibly athletic as always," Hale said. "Their quarterback throws the ball a long way. They're big, fast and athletic. Defensively our secondary will be really tested.
"We have to focus on being really disciplined. Our offensive line is going to have to play really well. We have to figure out our quarterback situation, so it's going to be interesting."