In 16-plus seasons under coach Jay Sharrett, the Pickerington Central football team is 196-38, including a stretch from 2006-17 during which it won at least a share of its league title each season.

The opponent that has given the Tigers the most trouble during that time has been Lancaster, which will visit Friday, Oct. 11, in OCC-Ohio Division action.

Under Sharrett, Central is 10-7 against the Golden Gales, including one playoff win. Lancaster has been coached by Rob Carpenter since 1998.

When the teams met in Week 7 last season, the Tigers had won 18 consecutive games overall and 16 consecutive league contests but lost to the Gales 31-30 and ended up settling for third in the league at 3-2, behind co-champions Reynoldsburg and Lancaster (both 4-1).

Central has gotten back on track since losing 19-14 to Groveport on Sept. 20 and is 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the league, while Lancaster is 2-3 overall after opening league action with a 34-12 win over Grove City on Oct. 4.

"Things have been a lot more physical and there's just a lot more intensity (since the Groveport loss)," senior linebacker Dom Marasco said. "We're playing 10 times harder now. We don't like to lose at all."

Central, which has gone 42-7 since Marasco's class joined the program in 2016, beat Hilliard Davidson 28-7 on Sept. 27 and then defeated Gahanna 49-28 on Oct. 4 in its league opener.

Against the Lions, quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw rushed 15 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns and was 4-for-8 passing for 219 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown to Nick Mosley and a 72-yard touchdown to Brooks Kunkel.

Combine those long plays with a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown by A.J. Sanders in the first quarter, and the Tigers kept Gahanna at arms-length throughout the game despite allowing 344 yards of offense.

Mosley rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to give him 720 yards and 10 touchdowns on 116 carries on the season, while Crenshaw has rushed for 464 yards and eight touchdowns on 95 carries and is 45-for-69 passing for 746 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.

Lancaster, as it has been throughout most of Carpenter's tenure, rarely throws the ball while relying on a wing-T offensive set.

The Gales' Titan Johnson and Curtis Young combined to go 4-for-4 passing against Grove City, with Johnson throwing a 6-yard touchdown to Casey Finck in the third quarter.

Also against the Dawgs, Young rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and George Sherrick rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Finck has 220 yards receiving on 11 receptions for the season.

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