The DeSales High School football team's 35-0 victory over Dayton Dunbar on Aug. 25 may have set it up for the type of season it desires.
In a game held at Huber Heights Wayne as part of the Backyard Blitz, the Stallions also had just enough missteps to keep them busy as they prepare for one of the only two Division I teams on their schedule.
DeSales, which missed the Division III playoffs last season, will travel to Lancaster on Friday, Aug. 31, for a rematch of a game it won 34-14 last season.
"If you take the penalties and things, we overcame them and I was happy about that," coach Ryan Wiggins said. "Some of the stuff we're doing is very new, and there's some learning that goes along with that, but our guys played fast and I thought they played aggressive and made some key plays when they had to."
Lancaster opened with a 20-14 loss to Springfield on Aug. 24.
The Golden Gales opened last season with consecutive losses to Springfield and the Stallions. They won their next four games but lost their final four to finish 4-6.
Now in its 21st season under coach Rob Carpenter, Lancaster changes little from year to year from a style standpoint.
Against Springfield, Gales quarterback Tyler Monk attempted just four passes, completing all four for 52 yards out of a wing-T offense that rotated five running backs. Jake Richards rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and Lucas Gauerke had eight carries for 30 yards and one score behind an offensive line that features four players who weigh at least 270 pounds.
The Stallions are planning to take an assignment-based defensive approach a week after forcing three turnovers that led to scores, including a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Owen Faulkner.
Frank Sciarroni, who had a fumble recovery, lines up at weakside end on defense, alongside tackle Cole Potts, nose guard Barron Froehlich and strongside end Rodas Johnson.
"We had a goal to get two turnovers (against Dunbar) ... and we beat that goal," Sciarroni said. "We came out and played physical, smart, relentless and together.
"I played a little bit late in the game (last year against Lancaster) and I played them (on junior varsity) and they're going to be a lot tougher in that offense. You really have just got to be tough up front and win the line of scrimmage, and if you win the line of scrimmage, you're right there for tackles."
The contest against Dunbar marked the first game in a Stallions uniform for junior quarterback Reno Godfrey, who transferred from Westerville North during the offseason. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 190 yards with one touchdown pass and one scoring run.
Last season with the Warriors, Godfrey completed 46 of 100 passes for 541 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 8.
"We're still not firing on all cylinders, and when we do, I think we're going to be really deadly this year," Godfrey said. "It's a new experience coming from a new school. It's been a great experience (at DeSales) so far. Even on walkthrough day, it felt like home."