It may be only the second week of the season, but Evan DeMars of the Dublin Scioto High School football team understands the gravity of the situation.

It may be only the second week of the season, but Evan DeMars of the Dublin Scioto High School football team understands the gravity of the situation.

Sure, a league championship or a playoff berth is not at stake, but the senior quarterback knows the magnitude of playing cross-town rival Dublin Coffman. The teams meet for the first time since 2007 on Friday, Aug. 31, at Scioto.

Both the Irish and Shamrocks enter the matchup at 1-0.

"It's huge," said DeMars, a three-year starter. "We don't usually get to play Coffman because of the rivalry between the two schools and with their being in our district. Most people might think we're the underdogs, and that's OK. We've been working for this (game) throughout the offseason. This means the world to us."

Scioto opened Aug. 24 with a 48-21 win over Canal Winchester, as senior running back Will Houston and junior running back Darius McDonald each scored three touchdowns. That same night, Coffman defeated Dublin Jerome 48-6, as senior running back Bilal Williamson rushed for 214 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.

"It's going be a really good game and a great atmosphere like at Jerome," Williamson said. "I've never played (Scioto) before, but I expect that there will be a lot of talking back and forth because they are another Dublin school just down the road."

Having opened against Jerome, the Shamrocks already have had the big-game, crosstown experience. The stands were packed more than 30 minutes before kickoff, creating a playoff-like atmosphere.

"This is awesome for the community," Jerome coach Mark Hundley said. "Everybody kept telling me that the atmosphere was awesome, so I hope it was. I didn't get to experience too much of that. The student section was by far the most crowded I've ever seen it that early and by far the stadium on our side was the most filled I've seen it at 7 o'clock.

"We knew the atmosphere would be like this. We told our guys the atmosphere is what it is because you guys are putting on the pads. If it wasn't for you guys putting on the pads, the atmosphere wouldn't be here. The reason the atmosphere is what it is is so you can play the football game, so let's go play the football game."

Scioto coach Karl Johnson remembers his team's last matchup against Coffman five years ago and expects the same kind of atmosphere in this meeting.

"It was an electric game and an exciting game," he said of the Shamrocks' 9-7 win. "We lost an emotionally draining game and it was everything we thought it would be. (The Shamrocks) hit a big field goal and we were a fraction away from winning. This Friday will be the same and we hope to be in the win column."

The teams first met in a Division I regional final in 2003, with Scioto winning 24-14. But that outcome later was overturned because it was determined that the Irish used an ineligible player, giving Coffman a forfeited victory.

The series is tied at three.

In the 2007 matchup, Mitch Haines kicked a 20-yard field goal with 34 seconds left to give the Shamrocks the win. Haines, who replaced injured kicker Justin Baltzer, had missed five earlier kicks in the game -- four field goals and an extra point.

"We haven't played in a while, but I remember watching us play Scioto in 2007," senior linebacker Ian Flinders said. "That was a great game, and this should be as well. They have nice athletes, some good running backs and a good quarterback."

Against Canal Winchester, McDonald, who also lines up at wide receiver on certain plays, caught 10 passes for 101 yards and rushed for 65 yards on 10 carries as the Irish amassed 523 total yards. DeMars completed 25 of 34 passes for 284 yards and a touchdown and scored on a 19-yard run.

The Irish defense also rose to the occasion with three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

"Just like in any football game, it comes down to the offensive and defensive lines," Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said. "No matter what teams are doing as a scheme, if you look at what is going on up front, that will tell you how good of a job you're doing. They have done a great job on both the offensive and defensive lines, so we'll have to be as physical as they are and be sound fundamentally."

Against Jerome, Coffman senior quarterback James Walsh, who has verbally committed to Ohio University, was 10-for-15 passing for 83 yards and rushed 11 times for 83 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Brent Whitehead returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown and Juan Jennings also had an interception.

"We have to put our guys in position to recognize what the other team is going to do," Crabtree said. "Hopefully, the guys will do their jobs up front, and the kicking game and turnovers always are critical as well.

"The kids know they are playing another Dublin school and will be ready to play. I know the intensity will pick up on both teams (because of) that."