Two high school football teams in search of answers from their Week 2 performances will meet Friday, Sept. 7, when Olentangy Orange visits Pickerington North.
The Pioneers will try to correct mistakes that occurred during a 17-14 loss to visiting Watterson on Aug. 31. The Panthers defeated visiting Dublin Jerome 35-28 that same night, but they let a 21-7 halftime lead slip away and needed a late fourth-quarter drive to secure the victory.>> Pickerington North 35, Dublin Jerome 28 <<
Orange coach Zebb Schroeder is looking for his players to implement what they have been working on in practice, and North coach Nate Hillerich wants to see his team play hard for four quarters.
"It's high school football and you never know what will happen," said Hillerich, whose team is 2-0. "We were up 21-7 and had a chance to put (Jerome) away and didn't. We have to make sure we don't let up like that."
Schroeder, whose team is 1-1, said the Pioneers must take lessons from their loss before putting it in the past.
"We have to make sure we own our response to this (loss)," he said. "There can be some good that comes from this. There have been some things we have been coaching that didn't show up Friday night. We have to be good teachers as coaches and improve our mistakes to the best of our ability."
Orange quarterback Robbie Dayhuff threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Zane Lattig and a 76-yarder to Mark Roberts to account for the Pioneers' scoring. Dayhuff was 13-for-22 passing for 229 yards with one interception.
Roberts rushed for 43 yards on 14 carries and caught two passes for 81 yards. Lattig had five receptions for 77 yards.
"We know that Orange is a good program, and the strength of the team is the offensive line," Hillerich said.
"They are big and physical and we have to make sure that we can withstand what they do up front."
North is led by quarterback Mike Lowery, a Gahanna transfer who was 28-for-42 passing for 331 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against Jerome. Chris Scott was his primary target with 10 receptions for 142 yards, and Jaylon Baylor had six receptions for 77 yards and one score.
"It's incredible how many skilled athletes that one school can have," Schroeder said. "When you see them on film, you're like, 'Whoa!' They are blessed with a really good quarterback and skilled athletes at every position."
The Pioneers are hoping for the return of 6-foot-6, 245-pound senior defensive end Zach Harrison, who has a leg injury. Harrison is among the state's top college recruits.
"Zach had been cleared by the doctor to resume play (before the Watterson game), but he wasn't 100 percent comfortable yet," Schroeder said. "From a doctor's perspective, he can play, but we want to make sure (the bone bruise) is 100 percent out of his mind. We don't want to rush things."