A three-week round-robin between last year's OCC-Buckeye Division tri-champions begins Friday, Oct. 11, when the Olentangy Orange football team visits Olentangy.
The Pioneers have won three consecutive games, including 30-7 over visiting Westerville North on Oct. 4 in their league opener, to improve to 5-1 overall.
That same night, Olentangy earned its second win in a row, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to edge host Westerville South 23-20 in its league opener to improve to 4-2.
The Braves lead the all-time series 7-3, including a 35-34 overtime win last year that broke a two-game losing streak to the Pioneers.
"These games always seem to come down to the last play," Orange coach Zebb Schroeder said. "They have a passing combo that's pretty good. (Quarterback Trent Maddox) has some big targets to work with. They're relying a little bit more on their passing game, whereas in the last few years they'd run a lot of misdirection plays with their quarterback or a running back. We have to account for a lot of formations and motions."
Olentangy did not convert on fourth-and-11 with three minutes left against South but recovered a Wildcats fumble on the next play to set up the winning possession. Maddox threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Gossett and connected with Jace Middleton on the ensuing two-point conversion.
Hunter Boehm blocked South's would-be game-winning field goal try as time expired.
It was the Braves' second consecutive comeback win, after having scored the final 17 points Sept. 27 at New Albany to win 38-35 on a field goal at the buzzer.
"We found a way to grind it out in the end. I'm really proud of our defense, too," Olentangy coach Mark Solis said. "Orange is very well-coached and they're 5-1 for a reason. It's one of those games you can throw the records out. It's a rivalry game and we got them last year. They probably haven't forgotten that."
The Pioneers scored the game's final 30 points against North. Running back Jake Vanchieri had 107 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries and quarterback Spencer Hawkins completed seven of 14 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Jack Fenton and Nate Miller.
Olentangy plays host to Liberty on Oct. 18, and the next week Orange plays host to the Patriots. All three teams went 4-1 in the OCC-Buckeye last year.