Westerville Central football coach Brent Morrison hasn't forgotten last season's contest against Gahanna.

The Warhawks won their first three games last season, but then dropped three consecutive contests, including a 14-13 loss to the Lions.

Central will look to avenge that setback when it plays host to Gahanna on Friday, Sept. 27.

The teams are heading in opposite directions. The Warhawks are 4-0 and have outscored their opponents 236-19, while the Lions are 0-4 and have been outscored 165-64.

"Last season, they were in a similar situation and they caught fire a little bit right about this time," Morrison said. "It's certainly a game that we won't overlook. They won a close one with us last year. It's a program we're pretty familiar with and we're excited. We always have great games. We're expecting a good battle."

Central avenged a 52-7 loss to Pickerington North last season with a 41-6 win over the host Panthers on Sept. 20.

Rickey Hyatt rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries and quarterback Judah Holtzclaw completed 10 of 21 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Warhawks.

"They are an incredibly talented group of skill players that make big plays," Gahanna assistant coach Bryce Culver said. "The offensive line has good size and toughness. The quarterback is big with a strong arm and makes good decisions. They've scored a bunch of points all season, averaging almost 60 points a game."

For the season, Hyatt has rushed for 421 yards and eight touchdowns on 63 carries and Holtzclaw has completed 45 of 67 passes for 859 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Luke Swaney has 13 receptions for 276 yards and five touchdowns.

"Central has a lot of momentum and we're just carrying a chip on our shoulders," Gahanna two-way lineman Tommy Bailey said. "A win against them would go a long way."

Gahanna is coming off a 41-17 loss to visiting New Albany on Sept. 20.

Travis Whittaker rushed for 220 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Will Thomas passed for 150 yards and two scores to lead the Lions, but Gahanna's defense allowed 507 yards of total offense.

"They have a quarterback who they really like to get involved in the run game," Morrison said. "Luckily, we saw a lot of that (against North's Jack Sawyer), so it prepped us for it. It always poses an interesting challenge when you gain a runner in your scheme, but our defense will be prepared for it."

The Lions lead the all-time series 4-1, with the Warhawks' win coming in 2015 (28-21 in overtime).

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