The addition of the Harvest Prep football team to the MSL-Ohio Division has boosted an already competitive league.

The Warriors play host to Columbus Academy on Friday, Sept. 27, in a matchup of teams that won their league openers.

Harvest Prep moved from the MSL-Cardinal, where it had won five consecutive league titles. The Warriors also have qualified for the Division VII playoffs in each of the past five seasons.

The Vikings haven't played the Warriors since beating them 38-35 in 2014.

"We're used to playing a lot of teams that we've faced every year and have some familiarity with them," Academy coach Robin Miller said. "It's unique to have a brand-new opponent, a brand-new scheme lining up across from us. It should be a pretty big challenge with how much success they've had and the confidence their kids should have."

Both teams opened league play with wins Sept. 20. Academy improved to 2-2 with a 38-24 victory over Whitehall, and Harvest Prep defeated Buckeye Valley 40-3 to move to 3-1 with its third consecutive win.

Buckeye Valley also is in its first season in the MSL-Ohio.

"We've always played bigger schools," Warriors coach Milan Smith said. "We always range from Division I to Division III in our non-league games."

Against Buckeye Valley, Javon Eggert scored on a 55-yard run in the second quarter to help the Warriors build a 21-3 lead and Khelin Jackson added a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown.

"They definitely have some athleticism," Miller said. "They have a good scheme for the type of kids they have. They're going to run it, run it, run it. They look to be patient and then the big plays also come to them as well."

Academy built a 28-0 lead on its way to beating Whitehall. Carter James rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns, Carter Warstler had five catches for 88 yards and two scores and Brady Hess passed for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

"They're going to bring a level of play to the game that includes hard work and intensity," Smith said. "They put their pants on like we do and at the end of the day 11 of them get on the football field. We're comfortable with the 11 we're going to put on the field and from there we'll see how it goes."

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