After three lopsided wins, the Westerville Central football team should receive its first test of the season when its visits Pickerington North on Friday, Sept. 20.
The Warhawks are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents -- who have a combined record of 2-7 -- 195-13. All three games had a running clock in the second half and Central's defense has allowed just 86 yards on the season.
"Even if they haven't played the best teams, what they've done is what they were supposed to do when you're scoring 70 and you're convincingly dominating the games," Panthers coach Nate Hillerich said. "They have some of the most explosive kids in central Ohio."
North is 1-2 and coming off a 38-17 victory at Olentangy Orange on Sept. 13.
"It's a fun challenge," Central coach Brent Morrison said of preparing for the Panthers. "They like to bring some pressure on defense and play man coverage. Offensively, they like to throw the ball a lot."
North, which defeated Central 52-7 last season, leads the all-time series 5-1, with the Warhawks' win coming in 2006 (7-0). The Panthers have won the last three meetings by an average margin of more than 37 points.
"They're looking for revenge," Hillerich said.
"We shocked them last year because I don't know if we were (45) points better than them last year, so they've had our game circled. They know their toughest challenge was going to be this week, so we have to be ready because they're going to come out and give us everything they've got."
Central amassed 413 yards and allowed minus-40 yards in a 76-0 win over visiting Northland on Sept. 13.
Quarterback Judah Holtzclaw completed all eight pass attempts for 228 yards and three touchdowns and has thrown for 684 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season, while Rickey Hyatt has rushed for 210 yards and five touchdowns on 34 carries.
North racked up 330 yards of offense against Orange.
With quarterback Dom Myers limited because of an ankle injury, junior Jack Sawyer stepped behind center against the Pioneers. An Ohio State recruit at defensive end, he rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries.
Hillerich expects both Myers and Sawyer to see time at quarterback against the Warhawks.
"It looks like Sawyer is running the ball quite a bit, where with the other quarterback, they were a lot more pass heavy," Morrison said. "Obviously, that will come into play when we're game-planning."
Wide receiver Chris Scott has 24 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns for North.