The Dublin Jerome High School football team celebrated its second consecutive OCC-Cardinal Division title last weekend, but quickly went back to work in preparation for its first playoff appearance since 2008.

The Dublin Jerome High School football team celebrated its second consecutive OCC-Cardinal Division title last weekend, but quickly went back to work in preparation for its first playoff appearance since 2008.

The Celtics are seeded second in Division I, Region 2 and play host to seventh-seeded Findlay in the first round Friday, Nov. 4. The winner plays third-seeded Lorain or sixth-seeded Olentangy in a regional semifinal Nov. 11 at a site to be announced.

Jerome improved to 9-1 overall and earned a share of the OCC-Cardinal title with a 25-10 win over visiting Worthington Kilbourne on Oct.. 28. The Celtics and Hilliard Bradley both finished 5-1 in the league.

Last season, Jerome shared the league title with Westerville Central, which is now in the OCC-Buckeye.

The Celtics, who are seeking their first postseason win, are playing host to a playoff game for the first time. They lost on the road in first-round contests when they made the playoffs in 2008 and 2005.

"We set one of our goals as playing week 11," coach Bob Gecewich said. "You never want to guarantee wins, but one of our goals was we wanted to be in a position to play week 11 and, obviously, we're there. Your record doesn't mean anything because you're on a week-by-week basis. We're excited, we're happy, we're ready to go.

"These kids want to keep it going. They want to play as long as they can. They want to see what they can do."

Findlay, which competes in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference, is making its first playoff appearance since 2011 and seventh overall. The Trojans, who began the season 6-0, snapped a three-game losing streak with a 34-14 win over Fremont Ross on Oct. 28.

Findlay is averaging 34.7 points per game. Senior quarterback Tre Miller directs the Trojans' spread offense, while Aaron Kupferberg and D'on Stinson are key running backs.

Senior safety Kyle Nunn, who has committed to the University of Pittsburgh, is among the key players on Findlay's defense, which forced six turnovers against Ross, including three that were returned for touchdowns.

"They have good numbers and they're a one-school town," Gecewich said.

"They play some top, quality opponents in Toledo Whitmer and (Toledo) Central Catholic. (Toledo) St. John's Jesuit was supposed to be extremely good this year. Findlay is good."

Jerome's multiple-schemed offense will be going against Findlay's 4-3 or 4-4 base defense, which Gecewich said "swarms to the ball."

Quarterback Joe Dunnan has completed 100 of 169 passes for 1,945 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Ty Henderson has 51 catches for 1,071 yards and 11 touchdowns and Matt Nesbit has 29 receptions for 531 yards and six scores.

Austin Booth has rushed for 748 yards and seven touchdowns on 113 carries and Robert Cope has 376 yards and five touchdowns on 77 carries.

Defensively for the Celtics, safety Thomas Henderson has 88 tackles, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries, end Matthew Preininger has 76 tackles and 8.5 sacks and outside linebacker Cade Kacherski has 63 tackles and five sacks.

"We're feeling really good, but we're not satisfied," said senior Nick Ernst, who has seen time at safety, middle linebacker and wide receiver. "We're really hungry going into the playoffs and we're going to see how far we can go. The big thing with our team is we have great chemistry and we're a big family. Everybody plays their heart out for one another."

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank