The Upper Arlington High School football team begins OCC-Central Division play Friday, Sept. 28, at home against Westland, a team it traditionally has dominated, but will go forward without its starting quarterback.
Senior Sammy Sass suffered what coach Joel Cutler called a "significant" collarbone injury during the first quarter of the Golden Bears' 29-28 loss to Lancaster on Sept. 21. Sass was tackled into the turf by two players near the goal line.
"It doesn't look good for the near future," said Cutler, who stopped short of saying the collarbone was broken. "It's a tough blow."
Sass' backup, junior Jacob Leve, completed four of eight passes for 56 yards against the Golden Gales. Josh Rushin rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns on four carries, including a 66-yard score in the final minute of the third quarter that gave UA a 28-21 lead, A.J. Borders returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and Eli D'Herete added a 2-yard touchdown run.
Lancaster quarterback Tyler Monk threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Young with six seconds left and then tossed the winning two-point conversion to A.J. Cook.
The loss dropped UA to 2-3.
Linebacker Nick Fisanick led the Bears' defense with 12 tackles, nine of which were solo, to raise his team-leading season total to 36.5.
Westland fell to 1-4 with a 41-12 home loss to Olentangy Orange on Sept. 21.
Quarterback Deshawn Evans threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Bowles in the third quarter and running back Peterson Iresne added an 85-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
Evans, who missed the final six games of last season with a broken right ankle, has completed 100 of 178 passes for 1,223 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. Iresne has rushed for 397 yards and five touchdowns on 73 carries.
"They run a tempo-spread offense and they'll throw the ball quite a bit," Cutler said. "Defensively, they will get after you (in a 3-4 look). Coach (Rick) Rios has them fired up. He has them playing hard."
UA is 25-1 all-time against Westland and has outscored the Cougars 548-66 in the past 10 meetings, including 39-7 last year. The Bears' only loss to Westland came in 1990 (19-7).