The high school football programs that made up the OCC-Cardinal Division the last three seasons have attempted to find success over the years by carving their own identities.

The high school football programs that made up the OCC-Cardinal Division the last three seasons have attempted to find success over the years by carving their own identities.

Westerville South and Dublin Scioto have appearances in state championship games to their credit, with the Wildcats finishing as Division I runner-up in 1994 and the Irish earning the Division II title in 1995.

Both teams have been most successful when they've used diversity and speed on offense. The same can be said of Westerville Central, which has developed into one of the area's most consistent winners since coach John Magistro took over in 2009.

Then there's Hilliard Darby, which has celebrated the triple option, and Dublin Jerome, which has produced its share of strong power running teams.

Meanwhile, programs like Hilliard Bradley, which began playing in 2009, and Canal Winchester, which joined the OCC in 2013, have attempted to establish themselves in one of the state's most respected conferences.

Beginning in 2016, Bradley, Darby, Jerome and Scioto will be joined in the OCC-Cardinal by Delaware, Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne. Central and South will play in the OCC-Buckeye with Westerville North, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy Orange.

"You see a lot of varying styles," Magistro said. "Schools like us, South and Scioto have been more open to spread offenses, and then you play someone like Darby where you're seeing a lot of the triple option. Obviously the spread is probably what you see the most, but Darby drives you crazy. Defensively we've seen a lot of four-man fronts and three-man fronts, with a variety of defenses.

"There are just a lot of good football players in the OCC, and our (league) has had our share. You check out how many Division I (college) players there have been, and it's truly amazing."

Below are the Football Mount Rushmore honorees for the most recent alignment of teams in the OCC-Cardinal since 1989:

*CANAL WINCHESTER -- Drew Black (QB/P, final prep season 2010), Deontaye Cosby (DL, 2012), Zack Hitchens (LB/DL, 2009); coach Phil Mauro (2007-10, 2013-present)

Although the Indians have gone a combined 3-27 since joining the OCC, they made Division III playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008 in Mauro's first two seasons and two others in Division II the next two years. The Indians went 36-9 from 2007-10.

Black and Hitchens both played big roles in the success the Indians enjoyed during Mauro's first tenure.

Hitchens had 15 tackles for loss and two interceptions in 2009 and went on to play for four seasons at Kent State.

Black passed for 1,818 yards with 18 touchdowns and rushed for 12 scores in addition to averaging 37.1 yards per punt as a senior in 2010.

Cosby was named Division II district Defensive Player of the Year for the Indians' 2012 playoff team, finishing with 13 sacks and 132 tackles.

Honorable mention: Zach Brown (OL/DL, 2007), Thomas Dexter (DL, 2008), Boyd Miller (RB/LB, 1994); coach Mike Yonnotti (1992-98)

*DUBLIN JEROME -- Ryan Gannon (QB, 2010), Cameron Wilson (WR, 2011), Donovan Wilson (RB, 2012); coach Mark Hundley (2004-14)

During his two seasons at quarterback, Gannon passed for 3,932 yards and 30 touchdowns as the Celtics went 11-9, including 6-4 in 2010 when he was a senior. He went on to play for Toledo.

The Wilson brothers, Cameron and Donovan, also stood out for Jerome.

Cameron Wilson became the first player from the program to sign with a major college program, signing with Iowa before later transferring to Ohio University. He closed his prep career with 176 catches and 21 touchdowns.

Donovan Wilson rushed for a program-record 2,068 yards on 383 carries and scored 25 touchdowns in 2012 to finish with 4,796 yards and 58 scores for his prep career. He began his college career at Georgia Tech but now is at Bowling Green.

Hundley guided the Celtics to playoff berths in 2005 and 2008 before stepping down after the 2014 season. He had coached Jerome since the program's inception.

Honorable mention: Alex Cline (QB, 2014), Ricky Kovatch (RB/LB, 2007), Steve Mehrer (LB/RB, 2009)

*DUBLIN SCIOTO -- Nick Goings (RB, 1995), Jay Richardson (DL/TE, 2001), Eric Yates (RB/LB, 2003); coach Karl Johnson (2000-present)

Goings was the leader of the 1995 state championship team that went 13-1 under coach Bryan Deal. He rushed for more than 2,000 yards and made first-team all-state before playing for Ohio State and the University of Pittsburgh and then in the NFL for eight seasons.

Richardson, who played for Ohio State and then in the NFL for five seasons, had 15 tackles for loss while making first-team all-state in 2001 as the Irish went 10-2. He also had 13 tackles for loss as a junior.

Yates rushed for 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns as the Irish went 12-2 in 2003. He finished with 3,529 career yards and 47 total touchdowns.

Johnson was an assistant coach for the Irish's state title team. He has been the head coach since 2000, leading Scioto to a 103-73 mark with eight playoff appearances.

Honorable mention: Nick Conner (LB/RB, 2014), Ben Huddle (DL/TE, 2003), Tim Shadoan (WR, 2012); coach Bryan Deal (1995-96)

*HILLIARD BRADLEY -- Skylar Hartley (OL, 2013), Blake Scipio (RB/DB, 2011), Chris Wall (LB, 2015); coach Mike LoParo (2011-present)

Although the Jaguars have yet to make the playoffs in their seven seasons as a program, they've had three winning seasons in five years under LoParo. Bradley was 7-3 last year, improving to 29-21 during LoParo's tenure.

The best player on LoParo's first team was Scipio, who became the first in program history to rush for 1,000 yards. He had 1,356 yards with 16 touchdowns and added 44 tackles and three interceptions in 2011.

Hartley started a program-record 30 consecutive games and played in the Ohio North-South All-Star Classic in 2013. He plays for the University at Buffalo.

Wall set the program record for tackles in a season with 107 and also had four forced fumbles last fall. He holds the program record for career tackles with 249.

Honorable mention: Ryan Beveridge (OL, 2013), Will Phillis (QB, junior in 2015), C.J. Wall (LB, 2012)

*HILLIARD DARBY -- Caleb Day (DB/WR, 2012), Jeremy Ebert (QB, 2007), Nick Powers (QB/P, 2015); coach John Santagata (2008-present)

Before having a solid career at Northwestern and then playing one season in the NFL, Ebert led the Panthers to their first playoff berth in 2007. That season, he passed for a program-record 1,576 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 1,358 yards and 16 scores.

Day was the league's Player of the Year as a senior in 2012, when he used his all-around ability to help lead Darby to an 11-1 season. He scored 15 touchdowns and had five interceptions that season, and also was a dangerous returner throughout his prep career. He now plays for Illinois.

Powers rushed for 1,229 yards and 18 touchdowns and passed for 1,136 yards and 10 scores as a junior and came back with 1,720 yards and 22 touchdowns rushing a year ago.

The Panthers have gone 61-25 in seven seasons under Santagata with five playoff appearances and two postseason wins.

Honorable mention: Robbie Anzuini (WR, 2007), Cameron Kohl (LB/RB, 2012), B.J. Machen (LB, 2007); coach Paul Jenne (2004-07)

*WESTERVILLE CENTRAL -- Jared Drake (QB/DB/P, 2013), Benny Snell (RB, 2015), Nick Vannett (TE/DL, 2010); coach John Magistro (2009-present)

One of Magistro's first great players was Vannett, who had 46 catches for 606 yards and four touchdowns while making first-team all-district in 2010. He went on to play for Ohio State and was picked in the third round of this year's NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

Drake passed for 16 touchdowns and rushed for 12 scores as a junior and put together an even better senior season, completing 158 of 236 passes for 2,637 yards with 28 touchdowns and six interceptions while adding nine rushing touchdowns. He played for a short time at East Tennessee State and now is at Ohio State.

Snell rushed for 2,077 yards and 28 touchdowns as Central went 11-2 in 2014 and followed by rushing for 1,826 yards with 29 touchdowns last fall as the Warhawks were 10-2.

Magistro has led Central to four playoff appearances in seven seasons, including each of the last three years. The Warhawks, who played their first season in 2003, are 4-4 in the postseason under Magistro.

Honorable mention: Brendan Barlow (OL/DL, 2006), Cody Kondas (QB/LB, 2011), Nick Richardson (OL, 2013); coach Bob Fresch (2003-08)

*WESTERVILLE NORTH -- Wes Cates (RB, 1997), Josh Harris (QB/KR/PR, 1999), Tim Weyand (RB, 1995); coach Ron Balconi (1989-95)

Cates rushed for 1,417 yards and 18 touchdowns and made second-team all-state as a senior for North as it went 6-4 in 1997. He then rushed for 5,647 yards for California University in Pennsylvania and went on to be an all-star in the Canadian Football League, finishing with 4,942 yards and 43 touchdowns from 2006-11.

Harris combined for 1,800 yards in rushing, passing and returns as a junior when North went 6-4 and helped the Warriors go 7-4 and make their last playoff appearance in 1999. He went on to become Bowling Green's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (43) and finished third in passing yards (7,503) before seeing action in the NFL, CFL and the Arena Football League.

Weyand rushed for more than 1,500 yards as a senior when the Warriors made the playoffs in 1995.

Balconi was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004. He started North's program in 1975 and led it to a 151-65-1 mark that included four playoff appearances before retiring in 1995.

Honorable mention: Travis Campbell (DB/WR, 2005), George Cooper (TE, 1999), Joe Lundstrom (OL, 1995); coach Bob Cavin (1996-2001)

*WESTERVILLE SOUTH -- Ki-Jana Carter (RB, 1990), Andy Katzenmoyer (LB, 1995), Lance Moore (WR, 2000); coach Rocky Pentello (1989-2014)

A spectacular junior season set Carter apart.

Carter, who starred for Penn State and played parts of seven seasons in the NFL, rushed for 1,762 yards and scored 23 touchdowns while making first-team all-state in 1989. He also had 16 catches for 329 yards and two touchdowns that season. He then rushed for nearly 1,000 yards during an injury-riddled senior season.

Moore had 103 catches for a then state-record 1,585 yards with 24 touchdowns as a senior in 2000. He then played for Toledo and has been in the NFL for 11 seasons.

Katzenmoyer helped the Wildcats finish as a state runner-up as a junior and as a regional runner-up as a senior, when he was named Ohio Mr. Football. He went on to play for Ohio State and for two seasons with the New England Patriots.

In 24 seasons as coach, Pentello led South to a 158-93 record with 10 league titles and 10 playoff appearances.

Honorable mention: B.J. Cunningham (WR/DB, 2006), Jayshon Jackson (RB, 2010), Rocco Pentello (QB/DB, 2006)

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