Before the Hartley and DeSales high school football teams met in week nine last season, 27 years of not playing each other at the varsity level helped set up an emotional game for the two eventual playoff qualifiers.

Before the Hartley and DeSales high school football teams met in week nine last season, 27 years of not playing each other at the varsity level helped set up an emotional game for the two eventual playoff qualifiers.

They'll enter the rematch Friday, Sept. 18, at Hartley more familiar than a year ago, but the sentiment surrounding the matchup hasn't softened, according to Hawks coach Brad Burchfield.

Moments before he and his team began celebrating a 44-14 win over Marion-Franklin on Sept. 10, Burchfield described the DeSales game as a "rivalry built on respect."

"It's turned into the biggest game on our schedule," Burchfield said.

While Hartley also beat defending Division III state champion Toledo Central Catholic 20-16 on Sept. 4 and is 3-0, DeSales defeated Canal Winchester 27-22 on Sept. 11 and is 2-1.

The Stallions lead the all-time series 16-9-2, but the Hawks won last year's meeting 21-7.

Both teams bring in rushing-oriented offenses, albeit with different approaches.

Hartley rushed for 461 yards against Marion-Franklin, with senior running back Quri Hickman leading the way with 230 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.

Hawks quarterback Jake Ruby completed all three of his pass attempts for 87 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown to Rian Anderson.

Hickman has 453 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the season.

While the Hawks have used a power rushing game to find success, the Stallions have junior quarterback Dylan Todd running their triple option for the first time.

Through three games, the Stallions have attempted just nine passes.

DeSales built on a 42-17 win over Dayton Chaminade Julienne on Sept. 4 by finishing with 372 total yards against Canal Winchester.

Austin Andrews rushed for 184 yards on 32 carries against the Indians, and Todd had 67 yards on five carries while comple ting one of three passes for a 13-yard touchdown to Alonzo Booth.

Todd and running backs Jake Gilmore, Andrews and Booth all have been key rushers for the Stallions.

DeSales held the Indians' offense to 153 yards.

Hartley gave up 390 yards rushing against Central Catholic but held Marion-Franklin, which has made 11 consecutive playoff appearances, to 215 yards of offense.

"Getting healthy is the key because we've had a lot of little nagging injuries, and that keeps you from getting good practices in," DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. "Hartley probably feels the same way.

"Playing Hartley, we'll need to be sharp on both sides of the ball. Last year against them we got down by a touchdown and we couldn't get anything going. You have to beat them at their own game."