The Westerville North football team remains winless heading into a Friday, Sept. 27, game at Franklin Heights, but coach Bryan Johnson hopes the Warriors can build on the offensive spark they found last week.
Sophomore quarterback Wyatt Buxton earned his first start for a 24-7 home loss to Canal Winchester on Sept. 20, completing 17 of 28 passes for 126 yards with two interceptions. Senior Auri Dover, who started last season as well as the first three games this year, was used as a slotback, wide receiver and kick returner.
Running back Maximus Plaxico finished with 136 yards rushing and North's only touchdown on 29 carries.
"(Buxton) stood in well. He had a few nice deep balls. It took him a while to adjust to the speed of the game, but he played with poise," coach Bryan Johnson said. "His arm is his strength. Being a younger guy, it can be tough to take over a huddle, but he did a nice job leading the team and getting the ball out wide to his targets. It was the best offensive performance we've had this year. We were balanced, but we gave up a few turnovers and big plays and (Canal Winchester) is too good a team to do that against."
Plaxico's 9-yard touchdown run with 11 minutes, 5 seconds left in the game pulled North within 17-7.
The Warriors ran 60 plays to the Indians' 55 but were outgained 343-241.
Franklin Heights improved to 3-1 with a 28-18 win at Westland on Sept. 20.
The Falcons returned seven starters on both sides of the ball and are off to their best start since 2016, when they won their first eight games and earned the program's second playoff appearance and first since 1989.
"There's a buzz going over there for sure," Johnson said. "They'll go with four (wide receivers) and spread the ball out. Their quarterback (Jeffrey Beverly) is a big, tall guy (standing 6-foot-4) who can see over the line and read the field well. They have a few slot guys who look pretty good.
"They've switched to a 4-3 defense. They have some good linebackers and a stout defensive line. They're 3-1 for a reason. It'll be a good test for us."