As Hartley football coach Brad Burchfield said on the AM820 postgame show at the end of the opening Friday of the season, there will be some teams whose season depended on what took place earlier in the night.
While that might seem like an exaggeration on the surface, each week has a measure of importance in the grand scheme even as teams are focusing on the here and now.
The games on Aug. 29 and 30 featured mostly expected results, but there were a few things worth noting, particularly for teams from the OCC-Buckeye Division and CCL.
Of the teams in the ThisWeek coverage area that made the playoffs last season, only six lost their openers, and all of those teams fell to opponents that made the postseason a year ago.
Here are five things we learned in Week 1:
1. Olentangy Liberty looks ready to pick up where it left off last fall.
Although the Patriots were coming off three consecutive Division I state semifinal appearances, they lost to Pickerington North each of the past two seasons.
On Aug. 30, Liberty hit its stride with a 21-point third quarter and beat the Panthers 31-19.
The Patriots limited North to 15 yards rushing, and new quarterback Corbin Parrish rushed for one touchdown and threw for two others.
Liberty, meanwhile, is the first of six consecutive teams on the Panthers’ schedule that made the playoffs last fall.
2. The CCL is off to a great start after most of its teams were around .500 last fall.
While Hartley made it to a Division III regional semifinal last season, the CCL’s other four programs went either 4-6 or 5-5.
After the opening Friday, CCL programs are 4-0.
The Hawks scored 27 points during the middle quarters to beat Erial (New Jersey) Timber Creek 34-13.
Watterson, another Division III program, opened with a 24-22 victory over Division I Lancaster.
Both Ready and St. Charles avenged losses to teams they fell to last season, with the Silver Knights defeating Genoa Area 24-7 and the Cardinals beating Dublin Scioto 28-21.
On Aug. 31, DeSales will try to give the CCL a sweep of the weekend when it plays Dayton Carroll in the Backyard Blitz at Huber Heights Wayne.
3. Westerville South hardly resembled last year’s team during its opening victory.
After going 3-7 last season, including losing 31-7 to New Albany in its opener, Westerville South got three first-quarter touchdowns and controlled the action from the get-go on the way to a 48-21 victory over the Eagles.
Michael Mansaray rushed for 286 yards and five touchdowns for the Wildcats, who finished with 487 yards of offense, including 343 on the ground.
4. The biggest eye-opener might have been the performance by Westerville Central.
Another team from Westerville that impressed was Central.
In a matchup of 2018 playoff teams, Central dominated Whitehall 63-6 after beating the Rams 19-6 a year ago.
The Warhawks built a 43-6 lead by halftime, held the Rams to 62 total yards and scored six of their touchdowns through the air as Judah Holtzclaw passed for four and Enoch Frimpong threw for two.
5. Westland had an opening night to remember.
Paced by a 21-point first quarter, Westland pulled away from Licking Heights 48-28.
The win was the first in an opener for Westland since 2012 and snapped a four-game skid against the Hornets.
Quarterback Buddy Workman rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two others for the Cougars, who haven’t posted a winning record since 2006.