The Upper Arlington and Westerville South high school football teams have played in distinctly different types of games to start the season.
The Golden Bears' past two games have featured a combined 188 points and 1,699 yards of offense. UA, which travels to South on Friday, Sept. 14, with a 1-2 record, edged host Findlay 49-42 in overtime Aug. 31 and lost at home to Cincinnati Winton Woods, last year's Division II state runner-up, 52-45 on Sept. 7.
South, which is 2-1, has scored 27 points in each of its past two games, a six-point overtime win over Worthington Kilbourne on Aug. 31 and a 10-point victory against Thomas Worthington on Sept. 7.
"Looking at their scores, we're going to have to slow that down in a hurry," Wildcats coach Matthew Christ said. "A lot of it is really keeping the focus on ourselves. There's a lot of mental mistakes that we can't afford to have if we're going to beat anybody."
South and UA have split shutout wins the past two years. The Bears won 27-0 in 2016, and the Wildcats rolled to a 26-0 victory last year.
"They came in here and beat us last year. They always have plenty of talent," UA coach Joel Cutler said. "We have flaws and great opponents expose those flaws, but that helps you improve. There are lessons that can be learned from things like this down the stretch that will help us win ballgames."
Running back Chris Schweisthal rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and quarterback Sammy Sass completed eight of 20 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns to lead UA against Winton Woods, which scored 31 points in the second quarter but still needed a 70-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Andrews to Demeer Blankumsee with 90 seconds left to pull out the win.
"There's no quit in this team," Cutler said.
"Almost every week, it's one for the ages for us. I feel like I aged seven years (against Winton Woods), easily. But I told the boys that games like this get you ready for down the stretch. All our goals are still intact."
South slotback Michael Mansaray rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns, both in the final 4:34, to lead the Wildcats past Thomas. Quarterback Jason Penn threw for a touchdown and rushed for another.
South and UA are the only non-league opponents remaining on each other's schedule from last year.