Canal Winchester football coach Josh Stratton said his team won't be surprised when it lines up against host Olentangy Berlin on Friday, Sept. 6.
The third-year coach said the Bears don't try to mask anything, but just attack opposing defenses head on.
"They are really, really well-coached, and there are no surprises with them," said Stratton, whose team opened Aug. 30 by defeating Thomas Worthington 35-17. "They do what they do. They want to run to set up the pass. They have a nice boot game, especially with their quarterback (Jake Moeller), who didn't play (last) week, but we're pretty sure he'll be back (this) week.
"They have a big (running) back (Johnny Spinner) that will bang you a little bit. Defensively, they should be really fundamentally sound. They run to the ball and play hard."
Berlin opened Aug. 30 with a 51-0 win over Briggs. The Bears, who went 1-9 in their inaugural season last year, have posted both of their victories against the Bruins. In their first game a year ago, the Bears beat Briggs 53-22.
In this year's matchup, Berlin held Briggs to minus-20 total yards and forced four turnovers. Marcus Elliott had an interception and a fumble recovery, Xavier Jackson had an interception and Trey Keith recovered a fumble.
Spinner, who is 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, ran for 46 yards and a touchdown on five carries against the Bruins to lead a balanced running game that accumulated 218 yards. Quarterbacks Dylan Reyes and Jared Moeller combined to go 2-for-5 passing for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Reyes completed a 52-yard score to Jack Nebraska and Moeller threw a 33-yard score to Quentin Applegate.
Canal Winchester avenged two losses to Thomas the past two seasons, as the Indians had lost to the Cardinals 27-20 in two overtimes in 2017 and 34-21 last fall. The Indians rolled up 371 total yards, including 249 on the ground, led by Stephan Byrd's 101 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Jake Francis and Tyler Toledo both ran for 51 yards on eight carries, with Toledo scoring a touchdown.
"They are really good, going 9-1 last year, and we believe they are a playoff-caliber team this year," Berlin coach Mark Nori said of the Indians. "They take care of things on offense, and they are deep on both sides of the ball. We really have to up our game going from the opening week to this one where a good Canal (Winchester) team will be waiting for us."