The Groveport Madison High School football team will face a stern test when it plays host to unbeaten Lancaster on Friday, Oct. 2, in an OCC-Ohio game.

The Groveport Madison High School football team will face a stern test when it plays host to unbeaten Lancaster on Friday, Oct. 2, in an OCC-Ohio game.

The Golden Gales, who beat Groveport 35-0 last season, are 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the league after beating Pickerington North 35-17 on Sept. 25.

"Looking at the film, (Lancaster is) impressive on offense, impressive on defense and impressive all the way across the board," said coach Bryan Schoonover, whose team is 4-1 and 2-0 after beating Grove City 26-20 in overtime Sept. 25. "They are big and strong and probably will be the strongest team we play all year. Plus, they're very disciplined."

The Cruisers are 4-1 for the first time since 2010, when they went on to finish 5-5.

"It's exciting from a program standpoint in that the school and town are buzzing," said Schoonover, who was an assistant with Lancaster before taking over at Groveport in 2013. "We'd like to get to the point where every game is a big game and everyone in our community was talking about us every week. But like I told our kids, it's a long season and the toughest stretch of our schedule is ahead of us."

Lancaster's wing-T offense is led by quarterback Noah Dryden, who rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and threw a touchdown pass against North. Fullback Ryan Fitchpatrick added 151 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.

Drew Smith, a halfback, also is an offensive threat behind a young line for the Golden Gales, who are averaging 32.2 points per game. Led by linebackers Josh Cook, Eric Deluse and Ryan Edwards, Lancaster's defense is allowing 12.4 points per game.

The Cruisers are averaging 22.6 points and allowing an average of 13.4 per game.

Against Grove City, the Cruisers rallied from a 10-0 deficit to take a 13-10 lead into halftime but trailed 20-13 entering the fourth quarter. Running back Corey Newman tied the score with a 4-yard touchdown run. Grove City missed a field goal on its overtime possession before Newman scored on a 20-yard run on Groveport's first play in overtime.

"It was a program win, a complete team effort," Schoonover said. "The offensive line created a seam and Corey made one hard cut and accelerated to the end zone. I thought Corey and (running back Dezjuan Allen) made good cuts and reads and showed good vision. The offensive line played well and our defense continues to play well."

Allen led Groveport with 107 yards rushing, including touchdown runs of 37 and 2 yards. The Cruisers had 351 total yards against Grove City, including 318 rushing.