As his team worked to prepare to take on Dublin Jerome, Hilliard Bradley High School football coach Mike LoParo had a simple message for his players: Don't be deceived by the Celtics' 0-3 record.

As his team worked to prepare to take on Dublin Jerome, Hilliard Bradley High School football coach Mike LoParo had a simple message for his players: Don't be deceived by the Celtics' 0-3 record.

The teams will meet Friday, Sept. 18, at Bradley to open OCC-Cardinal Division play.

Bradley leads the series 2-1, including a 44-13 win last season. The Jaguars also beat Jerome in 2013, 20-0, after the Celtics won the first meeting in 2012, 28-26.

"We think they're really good," LoParo said. "They do some things that maybe a young team does in terms of hurting themselves, and we do the same things. I'm very concerned with them."

Bradley is 2-1 but is coming off a 20-0 home loss to Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 11. The Jaguars managed just 82 total yards in their first meeting with the Wildcats.

"We're working hard to figure some things out. We'll move on," LoParo said. "Our goal was to win all of our non-league games, but that didn't happen. We're pretty healthy, so we just need to move on."

Jerome is coming off a 28-6 loss at Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 11. Like Liberty, Bradley runs a spread offense, led by junior quarterback Will Phillis.

Phillis has completed 52 of 84 passes for 578 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. He was held to a 76 yards against Davidson.

"They're more spread-based," Jerome coach Bob Gecewich said of the Jaguars. "They have a solid quarterback that they really like. He's very comfortable back there. It will be a very good test for our defensive backs."

Senior Chance Levitt, who was Bradley's starting quarterback last season, is now contributing at running back, wide receiver and in the secondary. He has 10 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior running back Robbie Hyrmer leads the ground attack with 213 yards and two touchdowns on 45 carries.

Jerome was competitive for most of its game against Liberty. The Celtics, who trailed 7-0 at halftime, totaled 202 yards, with senior quarterback Zack Hazlett rushing for 61 yards on 22 carries.

Gecewich said Nick Bush has moved from tight end to the offensive line and has helped solidify that unit.

LoParo said the Jaguars are preparing for Jerome's mixed formations on offense.

"They give you a lot of different looks, a lot of different formations," LoParo said. "They're pretty athletic. Their kids are slippery, and it looks like they're pretty balanced."