A stretch of games that featured three 2014 playoff qualifiers and four consecutive road contests will end for the Watterson High School football team Friday, Oct. 2, when it travels to DeSales.

A stretch of games that featured three 2014 playoff qualifiers and four consecutive road contests will end for the Watterson High School football team Friday, Oct. 2, when it travels to DeSales.

"We're playing some talented teams," Eagles senior linebacker Sam Lewis said. "These four games back-to-back are a grind, and we've got to (win) them. (They're) huge for us."

For DeSales, a win over the Eagles would provide an extra boost to its playoff hopes as well as additional cheers to a celebration of its past. Serving as honorary captains that night for the host Stallions will be members of their first state championship team, from 1985.

Watterson and DeSales have met every season since 1963 and the Eagles hold a 35-23-1 lead in the all-time series, which includes seven playoff games.

This season, both have postseason aspirations in Division III, Region 9.

The Stallions beat Covington (Ky.) Catholic 28-7 on Sept. 26 and are 4-1 overall. Jared Noble and Derrius Mullins each returned fumbles for touchdowns and quarterback Dylan Todd added two touchdown runs for DeSales.

The Eagles lost to Cleveland Benedictine 27-7 on Sept. 25 and are 3-2 overall. They are 1-0 in the CCL-Silver Division after beating St. Charles 12-0 on Sept. 18, and a win over DeSales would give them the league championship.

Watterson got a 2-yard touchdown run from running back Adam Kasun in the first quarter but finished with just 142 total yards against Benedictine.

The Stallions don't play St. Charles until Oct. 23.

The only other common opponent between the programs this season is Hartley, which DeSales beat 38-27 on Sept. 18. The Eagles face the Hawks in a non-league matchup of CCL teams Oct. 16.

"The CCL is one of the toughest leagues around and there's always just a great atmosphere," DeSales sophomore running back Brian Asamoah said. "You never know who's going to come out on top."

Asamoah could be a factor in the matchup with Watterson even though he wasn't expected to play a key role as a ball carrier at the beginning of the season.

Senior Austin Andrews, who has rushed for 378 yards and five touchdowns, went down with a knee injury against Hartley and did not play against Covington Catholic. His status going forward is uncertain, but he still could return before the end of the regular season, according to coach Ryan Wiggins.

Asamoah, seeing his first extensive action in the backfield, rushed 14 times for 66 yards against Hartley after Andrews left the game.

Todd, senior running back Jake Gilmore and junior running back Alonzo Booth also have been key contributors to the Stallions' rushing attack.

Against Hartley, Todd completed all three of his pass attempts for 105 yards with two touchdowns.

"Everybody is always hard on the quarterback, but the kid's getting better each and every week," Wiggins said. "I think he's doing a better job of taking care of the football and making better decisions."

DeSales will face a Watterson defense that had posted back-to-back shutouts before playing Benedictine.

Lewis, senior linebacker Michael Auddino and senior linemen Adam Gilles and Chase Towns have been leading the Watterson defense. Lewis has been averaging more than eight tackles per game.

Senior quarterback Stephen Markos has seen some success through the air and on the ground for Watterson. He has a team-best three rushing touchdowns and has completed 28 of 57 passes for 357 yards with one touchdown.

Kasun is the Eagles' leading rusher with 259 yards and two touchdowns. Auddino and junior Nick Bowen also have been key ball carriers.

Defensively, senior safety Darren Hankins, junior linebacker Ryan Corkrean, junior lineman Derrius Mullins and sophomore linebacker Ty Van Fossen have been among the top players for DeSales.

A year ago, the Stallions edged Watterson 17-14 in overtime to beat the Eagles for the second consecutive season.

"We don't have to be the best team in the state," Markos said. "Our goal is to be the best team on the field each time we play on Friday night. That way, we take things day to day and week to week."