Coming off nine consecutive losses and dealing with injuries on both sides of the ball, it appeared not much more could go wrong for the Westerville North High School football team.

Coming off nine consecutive losses and dealing with injuries on both sides of the ball, it appeared not much more could go wrong for the Westerville North High School football team.

But it has.

In a 37-7 loss to Marysville last Friday, Warriors quarterback Ryan Clark, who entered the season as the backup, took a hit to the chest that forced him to leave the game. A precautionary trip to the hospital revealed nothing serious, but the back pain Clark was left with will cause him to miss the season finale Friday at Olentangy.

The struggles of North have not been lost upon Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger.

"You know, quite honestly, I see us 20 years ago (when looking at North)," Terwilliger said. "North has a new coach and he's doing whatever he can to start his system and get his system going. It brought back a lot of memories of trying to build some things."

With the top two quarterbacks out this week, North coach Mike Owens has scrambled to find a replacement. Possible candidates include wide receivers Kalen King, Kenny Macauley, Bobby Matlock and Kendrick Swiger. The difficulty is finding a player who not only has prior experience at the position but can handle the offense from a new position with limited reps this week.

Because the Warriors likely will turn to a wide receiver for their new quarterback, Owens said the team will experiment with some different formations.

"We're in the midst of trying to figure out who we can put back there," North coach Mike Owens said. "We had Kalen back a bit last Friday. The problem here is the timing and the cadence. What we need is somebody who will be able to get the cadence off so the guys can hear it. We need somebody who will be able to manage the offense and make some plays."

Making it more difficult for Owens is that injuries have depleted the North roster to just 35 players, many of which are in their first year on varsity. The first-year coach, however, sees opportunity this week and hopes a good defensive showing can lead the Warriors to victory.

"We've had a hard time stopping the run all year," Owens said. "To me, I think they're going to come out running right at us, so we have to stop the run and make some tackles. We need to try to get them in some third and long situations and get them off the field to give our offense a chance."

Terwillger, who's spread offense has shifted towards regular-I and power-I formations as the weather has declined the last few weeks, knows North provides a good challenge for the Braves. He hopes the Warriors' inexperience will allow for big games from quarterback James Camp and running back Ben-Michael Welch.

"North does a great job of game-planning for an opponent and they'll do well early in the series. North is well-prepared," Terwillger said. "The problem for them is that everyone in our conference is really good. It doesn't matter what Xs and OS you put up there, eventually you just get out-athleted."

At a glance


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

•Last meeting: 2008, Olentangy 9-0

•Westerville North (0-9 overall, 0-6 in OCC-Cardinal Division) to date: Lost to New Albany 33-28; lost to Marion-Franklin 38-28; lost to Pickerington Central 28-0; lost to Dublin Jerome 49-7; lost to Westerville Central 27-7; lost to Dublin Scioto 34-7; lost to Olentangy Liberty 15-0; lost to Westervile South 47-6; lost to Marysville 37-7

•Olentangy (2-7 overall, 1-5 in OCC-Cardinal Division) to date: Lost to Olentangy Orange 27-6; lost to Delaware 17-14; defeated Big Walnut 17-0; lost to Dublin Scioto 14-12; def. Marysville 21-7; lost to Olentangy Liberty 29-6; lost to Dublin Jerome 31-24; lost to Westerville Central 35-25; lost to Westerville South 47-0

•Top Warriors: Kalen King (WR/QB), Kenny Macauley (WR), Bobby Matlock (WR), Randy Price (RB) and Kendrick Swiger (WR)

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