The Westerville South and Worthington Kilbourne high school football teams enter their matchup Friday, Aug. 31, at Kilbourne hoping to respond from opening-week losses.
The game also could have playoff implications, as both teams compete in Division II, Region 7.
Kilbourne is coming off a hard-fought, 27-26 loss at Olentangy Orange on Aug. 24. The Wolves rallied in the second half and threatened to take the lead late in the game, but came up just short.
Quarterback Grayson Timms connected with Sam English for a 31-yard touchdown to pull Kilbourne within one point, but the two-point conversion run failed.
Elijah Young rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown to lead the Wolves, and Timms passed for 109 yards and two scores.
"The quarterback looks like a very good athlete. He runs the ball well (and) throws the ball well," South coach Matthew Christ said. "It seems like they have a pretty explosive scat running back (in Young). They look big up front. I have the utmost respect for coach (Vince) Trombetti. I know they'll play very hard for him."
South lost to visiting New Albany 31-7 on Aug. 24. The Eagles scored the game's final 24 points.
The Wildcats moved the ball, outgaining New Albany 310-293, but only managed Kaden Saunders' 68-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Quarterback Jason Penn passed for 109 yards and rushed for 84 to lead South. Jaylen Norwood had five catches for 77 yards.
Linebacker Manny Powell led South's defense with 11 tackles.
"Westerville South always has athletes," Trombetti said. "Offensively, we have to continue to move the ball. We're running the ball pretty well. We have to get a little bit better throwing the ball, but the big thing is to not give up big plays on defense. If we don't give up big plays on defense then I really like our chances against these guys."
Christ is hoping his team can convert on scoring chances against the Wolves.
"Obviously, it's a frustrating start because we did a lot of good things (against New Albany)," he said. "Offensively, we moved the ball pretty efficiently, but we really struggled to finish drives and put points on the board. ... I'm optimistic we're going to bounce back in Week 2 with Kilbourne."