As expected heading into the season, senior Seth Currens has stepped forward to be a key leader on both sides of the ball for the Pickerington High School Central football team.

As expected heading into the season, senior Seth Currens has stepped forward to be a key leader on both sides of the ball for the Pickerington High School Central football team.

He doesn't mind that the 28 members of the Tigers' senior class aren't the only ones stepping into the spotlight this fall.

Central, which beat Cincinnati Withrow 35-7 on Sept. 11 to improve to 2-1, has a junior at quarterback in Darius Coker and a sophomore who has become a key wide receiver in Trenton Gillison.

Juniors Jermycole Graham and Garon Howard and sophomore Te' Cogar-Howard are among those who have contributed to the running game.

"We've got some talented young people on offense and that definitely is helping out the seniors going forward," Currens said.

The Tigers likely will lean on their increasing offensive depth when they open OCC-Ohio Division action Friday, Sept. 18, at Lancaster.

Although the Golden Gales lost to Central 27-12 a year ago, they won five of their final six games and finished 7-3 to miss earning a Division I, Region 2 playoff berth by three spots.

Lancaster beat Walnut Ridge 60-28 on Sept. 11 to improve to 3-0. The Gales opened Aug. 28 with a 13-3 win over DeSales, which was a Division III regional runner-up a year ago.

The Gales gave up just 149 total yards against DeSales and only 76 in a 33-0 win over Dublin Jerome on Sept. 4. They also forced four turnovers against the Celtics, including three fumbles.

Sophomore Shea Goss and senior fullback Ryan Fitchpatrick, who rushed for 112 and 102 yards, respectively, against Jerome, lead what traditionally has been a power-running offense for the Gales.

Senior running back Drew Smith and junior quarterback Noah Dryden also are key players on offense.

Central committed one turnover in each of its first two games, both on lost fumbles.

In a 47-6 win over Independence on Sept. 4, the Tigers fell on a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and scored on an interception return by Currens.

Offensively, Coker threw two touchdowns and 10 players had at least one carry.

Against Withrow, senior Noah Burk rushed for two touchdowns and Currens had two receptions for 80 yards to lead the offense.

"We played a tough ballgame week 1," coach Jay Sharrett said, referring to a 32-25 loss to Trotwood-Madison on Aug. 28. "(It's been good) that we stayed away from turnovers."