Newark High School football coach Mike Kopachy said his team's opening win was "a few years in the making."

Newark High School football coach Mike Kopachy said his team's opening win was "a few years in the making."

The Wildcats are hoping that their 41-0 victory over visiting Zanesville on Aug. 26 was just the beginning of what they'll accomplish this season.

Newark, which then beat Mount Vernon 21-20 on Sept. 2, will face a team that has struggled in a similar fashion to itself in recent years when it plays host to Marion Harding on Friday, Sept. 9.

It marks the first matchup between the programs since 2010, when the Wildcats won 15-14 for their only victory that season.

While Newark hasn't posted a winning record since 2005, Harding hasn't finished above .500 since going 6-4 in 2004.

"(Beating Zanesville) was kind of a monkey off our backs after the way we've struggled the last couple years," said Kopachy, whose team snapped a 13-game losing streak overall as well as a nine-game skid against the Blue Devils in its opener. "These guys have been so close so many times. Hopefully, it gives us some momentum."

Newark earned its first home victory since Sept. 7, 2012, by beating Zanesville. The Wildcats held the Blue Devils, who were a Division III state semifinalist last season, to 122 total yards and six first downs.

Quarterback Kaleb Jarrett was 11-for-13 passing for 99 yards and three touchdowns and receiver DeJuan Shackleford had eight catches for 84 yards against the Blue Devils.

Harding lost to Mount Vernon 22-20 in its opener Aug. 26 and then fell to Lima Senior 26-19 on Sept. 2.

Bulldogs, Aces set for football matchup

Despite getting three touchdown runs from quarterback Aaron Latiolais, the Heath football team couldn't overcome a five-touchdown first-half deficit and lost to Granville 42-20 a year ago.

Latiolais is back as a senior for Heath, which opened with a 63-0 win over Warsaw River View on Aug. 26 and beat Sparta Highland 54-28 on Sept. 2. The Bulldogs will play host to the Blue Aces on Friday, Sept. 9.

Latiolais threw for four touchdowns and rushed five times for 151 yards and two scores against River View.

Granville lost its opener 35-23 to Thornville Sheridan on Aug. 26 and beat Eastmoor Academy 29-12 on Sept. 2. The Blue Aces trailed Sheridan21-0 in the first quarter.

Granville senior receiver and defensive back Jack Peterson had nine catches for 80 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Cameron Crouch, and had two interceptions against Sheridan.