If history is any indication, the outcome of the Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty high school football teams' OCC-Cardinal Division contest at 6 p.m. Friday at Crew Stadium could have a lasting impact.

If history is any indication, the outcome of the Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty high school football teams' OCC-Cardinal Division contest at 6 p.m. Friday at Crew Stadium could have a lasting impact.

Liberty entered the matchup last year with a 3-2 record. After beating the Braves 21-16, the Patriots won five of their next six games before losing to Medina Highland 35-0 in a Division II regional semifinal.

Olentangy, meanwhile, started 5-0 last season before losing to the Patriots. The Braves lost four of their final six games, including a 28-14 loss to eventual state champion Sylvania Southview in the first round of the Division II playoffs.

Liberty enters at 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. Olentangy is 2-3 and 1-1.

"Really, this is the rivalry," Braves quarterback James Camp said. "A lot of us know each other and we've been looking forward to playing against one another."

"(Last year's game) was a great experience," Patriots linebacker Shay Baker said. "It was really intense the whole time. The coaches try to keep it like every other week, but we all know it's a big rivalry for the whole school. Things in practice are going to be pretty intense the whole week."

Like last year, Liberty is trying to bounce back from a loss. The Patriots lost 23-13 to Dublin Jerome last Friday.

"It's pretty close to where we were a year ago," Liberty coach Steve Hale said. "Last year we were coming off losses to Dublin Coffman (10-7) and Jerome (14-10).

"The Braves look like a very typical Ed Terwilliger (coached) team. They look very balanced offensively and their defense is very physical. We have to eliminate turnovers and penalties. The team that has the fewest turnovers and penalties rarely loses ball games."

Three turnovers cost the Patriots last Friday. Jerome's Ben Gueth made a diving one-handed interception at the Liberty 23-yard-line with 7 minutes, 56 seconds left in the third quarter to set up the go-ahead touchdown, a 1-yard run by Donovan Wilson.

Terwilliger, however, sees plenty of things to be concerned about. Liberty quarterback Zach Michael has completed 66 of 112 passes for 760 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions. His main targets are wide receivers Marcus Davis (28 catches for 276 yards) and Josh Meyers (18 catches for 261 yards). The Patriots' ground game is led by running backs Jeff Kemper (59 attempts for 264 yards with four touchdowns) and Jo'el Murphy (46 carries for 142 yards with two touchdowns).

"I think the thing that impresses me the most is they are so fundamentally sound," Terwilliger said. "Steve does a great job with his team. They make you beat them because they're not going to beat themselves.

"Defensively, their front eight is very strong and they don't give up the home run offensively. Offensively, they're very versatile. Their quarterback is very experienced, a been-there-and-done-that type of guy."

Through five games, Olentangy's defense has allowed opponents to complete 33 of 70 passes for 434 yards with two touchdowns and rush 191 times for 562 yards and two touchdowns.

The main task for Liberty's defense is trying to slow down Camp and running Ben-Michael Welch. Opposing offenses are averaging 127.8 yards rushing and 95.2 yards passing against the Patriots.

Welch has been a dangerous runner, rushing for 168 yards on 34 attempts and scoring two touchdowns against Marysville and 118 yards on 23 carries in a 17-0 win over Big Walnut on Sept. 11.

He was held to 52 yards on 11 carries in a 14-12 loss to Dublin Scioto on Sept. 18.

"We can't afford to allow him to get the ball in open space," Hale said. "He's a very dangerous back."

Camp was sacked 15 times in the Braves' three losses and seven times in their two wins. He has completed 44 of 92 passes for 595 yards with five TDs and six interceptions.

"They have a lot of skill on defense," Camp said. "Hopefully, each one of us can use individual skills to win our individual battles. If they watched any tapes from early games, I am sure they're going to blitz us. When a team blitzes, you have to find alternative routes to be successful. If they bring that many people, there's always going to be something open."

Next game


• When: 6 p.m. Friday

• Where: Crew Stadium

•Last meeting: 2008, Liberty 21-16

•Liberty (3-2 overall, 1-1 in OCC-Cardinal): Lost to Dublin Coffman 52-0; defeated Thomas Worthington 34-13; def. Delaware 31-0; def. Marysville 17-6; lost to Dublin Jerome 23-13

•Olentangy (2-3 overall, 1-1 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Lost to Olentangy Orange 27-6; lost to Delaware 17-14; def. Big Walnut 17-0; lost to Dublin Scioto 14-12; def. Marysville 21-7

•Top Patriots: Shay Baker (LB), Tyler Black (DB), Marcus Davis (WR), Jeff Kemper (RB), Zach Michaels (QB), Jo'el Murphy (RB)

•Top Braves: James Camp (QB), David Greenzalis (LB), Aaron Gutentag (DB), Ryan Summers (DB) and Ben-Michael Welch (RB)