The perennial matchup between the Dublin Scioto and Olentangy high school football teams has been moved to the postseason.

The perennial matchup between the Dublin Scioto and Olentangy high school football teams has been moved to the postseason.

A longtime league rivalry ended this season when Olentangy moved from the OCC-Cardinal Division to the OCC-Capital as part of OCC realignment, but the teams will meet for the 16th consecutive season when the Braves play host to the Irish in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 playoffs at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

Olentangy (9-1) is seeded third in the region behind Hilliard Darby (10-0) and Dublin Coffman (9-1) and Scioto (8-2) is the sixth seed. The top eight teams in each region qualified for the playoffs.

"We have played Olentangy every year I've been here," said 13th-year Scioto coach Karl Johnson, whose team leads the series 8-7. "We have had some great football games and they have a fine team this year. I expect a great game."

Olentangy has won the last two meetings, 35-25 in 2011 and 42-13 in 2010. Scioto last won in 2009, 14-12.

The Braves last reached the postseason in 2008 when they lost to Sylvania Southview 28-14 in the opening round of the Division II playoffs. The Irish, who finished 2-8 last year, are making their first playoff appearance since 2005, when they defeated New Philadelphia 28-23 in the first round of the Division II playoffs before losing to Louisville 28-23 in a regional semifinal.

"This year, (the Scioto players) are a year older; that's the biggest difference," Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger said. "They have matured both physically and mentally. They do a lot of nice things on offense to keep you off balance and they have improved so much on defense in size, strength and speed."

"I think the biggest difference for us is that the juniors have become seniors and the sophomores are now juniors," Johnson said. "Last year, we played a lot of underclassmen who have had a chance to grow up."

Scioto's offense runs through senior quarterback Evan DeMars, a three-year starter who has completed 208 of 292 passes for 2,389 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

His primary target is senior wide receiver Tim Shadoan, who has 72 receptions for 935 yards and nine touchdowns as well as 207 yards rushing with nine touchdowns. Senior running back Will Houston, who is 6-foot-1, 250 pounds, has rushed for 1,090 yards and 12 touchdowns on 224 carries.

"(Shadoan) does so many good things on the field. He's just a really, really good high school football player," Terwilliger said. "(DeMars) makes things go for them offensively and they have a big old kid (Houston) back there running the football. They do so many things well, and Karl and his staff have done a lot with them."

The Braves' offense is led by senior quarterback Andrew Horstman, who has completed 75 of 139 passes for 1,183 yards and has rushed for 18 touchdowns, including four in a 42-10 win over Delaware on Oct. 26.

The Braves' top receiver is senior Christian Brett, who has 34 receptions for 558 yards.

"They're good, and their quarterback makes things go," Johnson said. "He has a good arm and is a good runner. They also have good skill kids around him and big linemen on both sides of the ball."

Scioto is averaging 35.2 points per game and is allowing 23 per contest. Olentangy is averaging 32.4 points and is giving up 13.5.

"We can't complain since we are playing in week 11, and to think that we're not going to play a good team would show that you're not very smart," Terwilliger said. "We'll have our work cut out for us, but we're glad to be playing, especially at home."

Johnson said the contest is another in a line of challenging games that his team has played this season. The Irish went 2-2 against playoff teams, defeating Canal Winchester (48-21 on Aug. 24) and Westerville South (42-35 on Sept. 5) and losing to Coffman (34-14 on Aug, 31) and Darby (28-24 on Oct. 12). The Braves faced one opponent that reached the postseason, losing to New Albany 33-14 on Oct. 4.

"We played Canal Winchester in week one and (the Indians) are in the (Division II) playoffs, and Westerville Central, Westerville South and Darby were all unbeaten when we played them," Johnson said. "We played some big games against some very good teams, and we'll have to be able to do that again."