All the while looking ahead to his team's home opener Friday, Sept. 2, against Grove City, Olentangy High School football coach Mark Solis gushed over how the Braves began their season.

All the while looking ahead to his team's home opener Friday, Sept. 2, against Grove City, Olentangy High School football coach Mark Solis gushed over how the Braves began their season.

"That might be the biggest regular-season win we have had since I've been here," Solis said of a 31-10 win at Hilliard Darby on Aug. 26. "That comes from how the guys played. We've had a lot of success, and people are gunning for us. We might have worked harder than we ever have last week. We worked our tails off. When you consider everything we put into our preparation, it was a really good win.

"But I remind the guys that we aren't here to be good. We are here to be great, and that means we have a lot more work to do."

Olentangy hopes to carry the good vibes into its first meeting with the Dawgs since 2005.

In his first career start, sophomore quarterback Connor Haag completed 11 of 18 passes for 163 yards and four touchdowns, two each to wide receivers Sam Durst and Caden Kaiser. Durst was the Braves' expected starting quarterback in the preseason, and he did take some snaps Aug. 26, but he moved to his previous position about a week before the opener.

Olentangy also rushed for 163 yards in erasing a 10-0 first-half deficit.

"We have averaged 72 plays a game the past three seasons, and (Aug. 26) we ran 63," Solis said. "We went no-huddle some of the time, and we weren't sure how much we'd be doing that. We got comfortable and started gaining some momentum."

Grove City, which lost to Hilliard Davidson 26-10 on Aug. 26, runs a wing-T offense similar to that of Darby. The Dawgs gained only 162 total yards against Davidson, and running back Dylan Schoonover scored the team's only touchdown in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Hunter Watts completed just four of 13 passes for 50 yards and an interception.

Grove City also was affected by injury, as sophomore running back D.J. Gatewood suffered a broken leg in the fourth quarter.

The Dawgs' defensive leaders include linebackers Mark Bowman and Ethan Hall and defensive back Chris Witcher.

"They're going to run a 3-3 stack at us, which is something we don't see much, but it just means we have to change our blocking schemes somewhat," Solis said. "Their offense is similar to what Darby does with their wing-T, so at least we have some experience with it."

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave