This year's "Battle of 256" is everything the Pickerington High School Central football team hoped it would be and not much of what Reynoldsburg wanted.

This year's "Battle of 256" is everything the Pickerington High School Central football team hoped it would be and not much of what Reynoldsburg wanted.

Just like most of the past decade.

The host Tigers will seek to win the outright OCC-Ohio Division title on Friday, Oct. 28, when they play host to the Raiders.

The Tigers improved to 6-2 overall and 6-0 in league play by beating Grove City 34-0 on Oct. 21 to clinch a share of its sixth consecutive league championship. It was the Tigers' sixth consecutive win since losses to Cincinnati Moeller and Cincinnati St. Xavier to start the season.

The Raiders, who enter at 6-3 and 4-2, know they have clinched their first winning season since 2005. But after last week's 33-0 loss to visiting Gahanna, the Raiders need to beat the Tigers and get help to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

That's also the last time the Raiders defeated Central.

"It's easy to motivate the kids when you're playing Pickerington Central," coach Buddy White said. "They are a big rival of ours and we have a lot of respect for that program. We won't have any problem getting our guys ready to play."

The Raiders were limited to 131 total yards against Gahanna, which returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Reynoldsburg, which has thrived off a multi-faceted offense led by senior running back Kumar Collins, senior receiver/multi-purpose threat Mykel Traylor-Bennett and sophomore quarterback Jordan Aekins, fell to 0-3 against teams with winning records.

Reynoldsburg's last win in the series was 30-14 at Crew Stadium in the 2001 opener for both teams. Games in the series have been decided by an average of 22 points since and have been closer than 14 points only twice (21-7 in 2002 and 14-7 in 2007).

Central won 45-0 last year.

Quarterback Nick Jensen-Clagg passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns against Grove City, and the Tigers gained 283 yards in the first half.

"It's our senior night, Reynoldsburg is our oldest rival and the outright OCC title is on the line, so this is a big game for us," Tigers coach Jay Sharrett said. "We're playing well right now and we just want to take care of business. We see that coach White has his guys believing and playing good football. Reynoldsburg's moving the ball and tackling well. They're a much-improved team."