The Upper Arlington High School football team's offense began to click at the end of a 17-14 season-opening loss to Reynoldsburg on Aug. 24, and that carried over into the Golden Bears' first road game of the year, a 49-42 overtime win at Findlay on Aug. 31.
Coach Joel Cutler would be thrilled if that trend continues Friday, Sept. 7, when the Bears play host to Division II power Cincinnati Winton Woods.
The Bears amassed 287 of their 410 total yards on the ground against Findlay, and running back Chris Schweisthal ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, including the game-winning score from 3 yards in overtime.
"The offensive line did a great job of controlling the game and moving the line of scrimmage," Cutler said. "We had the whole toolbox available in terms of play-calling and (quarterback) Sammy Sass did a great job of controlling the game. It was higher-scoring than I expected, but we played a strong four quarters."
Sass completed eight of 12 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 91 yards and two scores on eight carries. Eli D'Herete added 17 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns.
Findlay scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a touchdown and the game-tying two-point conversion with 14 seconds left. A stop on fourth-and-1 in overtime won the game for UA.
The Bears expect to again have their hands full with Winton Woods, which was the Division II state runner-up last year and the Division III runner-up in 2016. The Warriors are 1-1 after a 42-16 win over Cincinnati West Clermont in a game that began Aug. 31 but concluded Sept. 1 because of a weather delay.
Winton Woods opened with a 13-3 loss to defending Division III state champion Trotwood-Madison on Aug. 24.
Running back Miyan Williams and wide receiver RaeQuan Prince lead an offense that complements a defense paced by defensive end Anthony Brooker Jr. and linebacker Christopher Oats. Lineman Brendon Lowry is a two-way standout.
"They're as dynamic and athletic as they come," Cutler said. "They have one of the best backfields in Ohio. They can make big plays running the ball and they'll do their best to speed the game up. Their defensive linemen can do a lot of things and they're explosive in the kicking game."
This also is the Bears' annual alumni game.
On Thursday, Sept. 6, players and coaches from the 1968 state championship team will gather at Raymond Memorial Golf Course to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the team that went 10-0 and averaged more than 50 points per game on the way to winning the second of three consecutive titles.
An hour-long documentary will be shown at the banquet.
Ted McNulty, the Bears' quarterback that year who went on to play at Indiana, was named an All-American that season. He died in a car crash in 1982.