Either the Thomas Worthington or Westerville North football team will earn its first win Friday, Sept. 6, when the Cardinals visit the Warriors, and the to-do list for both teams is clear to their coaches coming off Week 1 losses.
Some of those items are the same on both sides as the Warriors try to defeat the Cardinals for the third time in four years.
North turned the ball over on each of its first two possessions Aug. 30 to fall behind host Groveport 14-0 on the way to a 31-6 loss. That same night, Thomas hung with host Canal Winchester throughout the first half but gave up two third-quarter touchdowns and lost 35-17.
"We didn't sustain anything on offense," Warriors coach Bryan Johnson said. "One game doesn't define our season or where our program is, but we certainly didn't play the way we should. Groveport had a lot of athletes and Thomas does, too. They'll try to run the ball, but we have to be able to defend their passing game."
Thomas wide receiver Sheron Phipps caught touchdown passes of 30 and 50 yards in the second quarter against the Indians and finished with three catches for 89 yards. The Cardinals trailed 14-0 halfway through the first quarter and 21-17 at halftime.
"We did not match the same level of play in the second half as we had in the first half and we did not tackle well," Thomas coach Matt Zingery said. "We gave up too many big plays. We saw some good things in our passing game (led by quarterback James Gaiters), but we need to be able to establish the run to get more out of our offense."
Both teams enter the game 0-1 for the first time since 2016.
Phipps also is among the leaders of a Cardinals defense that also includes linebackers Reese Dysktra and Bassil Hasan and linemen Conner Park and Alex Ritchie.
Quarterback Auri Dover is among the few returnees on a Warriors offense that includes running backs Sam Anzur and Maximus Plaxico. Anzur and Plaxico also are linebackers along with Brennan Albertini.
Dover's 6-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Talmadge in the third quarter was North's only score against Groveport.
North defeated Thomas 33-10 in 2016 and 35-30 last year, and the Cardinals beat the Warriors 45-21 two years ago.