Football fans who concentrate on the moment might not realize it, but the postseason pedigrees of the high school football teams for Pickerington Central and Upper Arlington have more similarities than differences.

Football fans who concentrate on the moment might not realize it, but the postseason pedigrees of the high school football teams for Pickerington Central and Upper Arlington have more similarities than differences.

Both teams are making their 16th postseason appearance since the inception of the playoffs in 1972. UA has one state title -- won in 2000 -- to none for Central, which has been a state runner-up twice, once more than the Golden Bears.

UA has been a state semifinalist six times, while Central has been that four times.

Recent seasons, however, have been kinder to the seventh-seeded Tigers, who will play host to the 10th-seeded Bears in a Division I, Region 2 first-round game Saturday, Nov. 7.

Central, which clinched its 10th consecutive league championship with a 35-22 win over Gahanna on Oct. 29, is in the postseason for the 10th year in a row. The Tigers are 8-2 overall and finished 6-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division.

UA is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The Bears are 7-3 after dropping their regular-season finale, 38-31 to Dublin Coffman on Oct. 30.

Two of the past three meetings between the Bears and Tigers have taken place in the playoffs.

Central defeated UA 24-16 in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal in 2008 after having beaten the Bears 23-6 in the opener that season. In 2002, then-Pickerington edged visiting UA 27-25 in a Region 3 first-round game.

Central coach Jay Sharrett hopes an extra day of preparation after his team defeated Gahanna on a Thursday night will help the Tigers figure out how to contain a run-based UA offense led by running backs Danny Logan (1,054 yards, 10 TDs, 141 carries; 24 catches, 514 yards, 4 TDs) and Cole Kaparos (791 yards, 8 TDs, 129 carries). Quarterback Vince Murdocco has completed 101 of 160 passes for 1,675 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. His top targets are wide receiver Tyrece Speaight (30 catches, 479 yards, 5 TDs) and tight end Cole Pirwitz (15 catches, 246 yards, 1 TD).

"They are just stout. They look weight-room strong with a strong defense and an explosive offense," said Sharrett, who also downplayed any advantage the Tigers might gain from their natural grass field. UA's home field, Marv Moorehead Stadium, has artificial turf.

"I don't know that we have an advantage there. By November, the grass is few and far between," Sharrett said. "But they've practiced and played on grass. We've played on turf and grass. Once we get into the first quarter, it's just football after that."

Central has two capable quarterbacks in Darius Coker, who returned from injury against Gahanna and has completed 30 of 51 passes for 553 yards with a touchdown and six interceptions, and Seth Currens, who has completed 38 of 82 passes for 603 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions.

Running back Noah Burk leads a balanced ground game with 806 yards and eight touchdowns on 124 carries. Wide receiver Trenton Gillison has caught 15 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns, ahead of Danny Foster's 10 catches for 205 yards and a touchdown.

"We will hit the fundamentals (this week) ... and we have to be better at stopping the run," UA coach Joel Cutler said. "(Central is) very aggressive and athletic on defense. (They have) great team speed. We're going to do what we can do to control the line of scrimmage from our standpoint.

"How well we block the blitz will probably determine the outcome of the evening for us."

The winner will play second-seeded Hilliard Davidson or 15th-seeded Central Crossing in a second-round game Nov. 14 at a neutral site to be determined.