Both Dublin Jerome football coach Bob Gecewich and Scioto coach Karl Johnson look forward to matching strategies when their teams meet Friday, Sept. 20, at Scioto to open OCC-Cardinal Division play.

The Celtics lead the all-time series 6-5, but the Irish won last year's matchup 17-14.

Scioto is 1-2 and coming off a 49-14 victory at Whitehall on Sept. 13. That same night, Jerome lost at Coffman 31-14 to fall to 2-1.

"(The players will) be fired up for this one," Johnson said of his team. "It's league play. Jerome is a very good football team. The (Adam) Booth kid is a really good running back. Their offensive line is very physical. They play hard and they're well coached."

Booth rushed for 63 yards on 16 carries and quarterback Ryan Miller passed for 106 yards and two touchdowns against Coffman.

For the season, Booth has rushed for 404 yards and four touchdowns and Miller has passed for 300 yards and three scores. Seth Martin has 18 catches for 150 yards.

Defensively through three games, linebacker Dominic Nardone has a team-high 21 tackles and defensive back Scott Sonnanstine and linebacker Jack Soehner have 15 apiece.

"We just have to worry about us," Celtics offensive lineman Dan Wilson said. "We have to focus on our defense, offense and just getting over that loss and keep going and go 7-0 the rest of the season."

The Celtics and Shamrocks were tied at 14 at halftime before Coffman scored the final 17 points.

"How we bounce back is crucial," Gecewich said. "We have to focus on us and we have to focus on Scioto. Our schedule is our schedule and every week is important. Our seniors only get 10 games. We have to figure it out and get back on track. We have to play for four quarters."

Scioto amassed 337 total yards against Whitehall, led by running back Pete Hrelec, who rushed for 185 yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries.

"(The Celtics) always bring good intensity to the game," said Hrelec, who has played in two games, rushing for 335 yards and eight touchdowns. "It's a big rivalry game for us. They have a good student section, which hypes us up."

Gecewich said Scioto often utilizes a wildcat formation with Hrelec in the shotgun position.

Tobias Thomas made his season debut against Whitehall, rushing for 112 yards and two scores on 18 carries.

Thomas, who missed the first two games, transferred to Ridge Community in Lakeland, Florida, over the summer but re-enrolled at Scioto before the start of the school year.

Johnson added that quarterback Chad Ray is getting closer to returning after missing the first three games with a leg injury. Ibby Abumallouh started his third game at quarterback against Whitehall.

"They are huge up front, and they're getting all of their guys back this week to add to an experienced offense," Gecewich said. "They have an active defensive front. They're peaking at the right time for them and wrong time for us."

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