The Pickerington High School North football team can only hope it set the tone for the season during the second quarter of its opening 41-13 win over Central Crossing on Aug. 26.

The Pickerington High School North football team can only hope it set the tone for the season during the second quarter of its opening 41-13 win over Central Crossing on Aug. 26.

With his team already holding a 7-0 lead, Panthers quarterback Jimmy Weirick threw about 40 yards downfield and connected with Ty Wiley, and the 5-foot-11, 155-pound wide receiver turned it into a 97-yard touchdown.

It was part of a 28-point second quarter for North.

"We have a great group of playmakers," Wiley said. "Jimmy threw the ball right on the money. It's been great working with Jimmy this year. He has great leadership and he's like my brother in that we talk about everything."

Wiley didn't score but had a long reception last year as well in a 28-14 victory over Liberty Township Lakota East, which will play host to North on Friday, Sept. 2.

The Thunderhawks opened Aug. 26 by beating Loveland 31-14, as running back Tyler VanFossen carried 26 times for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

VanFossen also made one field goal and four extra points and had one of his two punts go inside the Loveland 20.

Against Central Crossing, Weirick finished 10-for-21 passing for 240 yards and one touchdown and added four rushes for 66 yards and two scores.

It was his first game as North's starter since last year's opener against the Comets in which he went down with an injury and missed the next seven games. Upon returning, he served as the backup quarterback to Michael Lowery, who transferred to Gahanna this summer.

A'sonte' Clay had seven carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns and Connor Gessells added five catches for 71 yards as the Panthers piled up 467 yards of offense against Central Crossing.

Tyler Potts had 11 tackles and one pass breakup, Nick Giardina had 10 tackles and Que Davis, Marlyn Hill and Robert Osby all had interceptions to lead North's defense against the Comets.

"We played Panther football, which demonstrated great communication, all 11 guys to the ball and just chemistry," senior linebacker and running back Noah Owens said.

Lakota East went just 3-7 a year ago, losing its last six games after a 3-1 start. Gessells had a 22-yard touchdown reception midway through the third quarter of last year's game to give North a 21-14 lead over Lakota East.

"(Lakota East) had a good, strong senior class (last year), mainly a downhill running team," Owens said.

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