Since the Upper Arlington football team's last OCC-Central Division championship in 2008, Hilliard Davidson has won six outright league titles with Dublin Coffman capturing three others.
The Shamrocks and Wildcats tied for first place in 2012.
The Golden Bears enter their Friday, Nov. 1, home game against Coffman needing a win to own the championship outright, but UA also has bigger goals on its mind.
A 35-14 win at Central Crossing on Oct. 25 catapulted the Bears into eighth place in Division I, Region 3, meaning UA controls its own destiny to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The top eight teams in the region make the postseason.
"It means a great deal. I am really happy for our senior class," said Scally, whose team is 6-3 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central. "I've heard since January that this is the down year and essentially, these seniors had been written off by a lot of people that they couldn't do this or couldn't do that. They're a small senior class, but they have certainly provided a great amount of leadership to get our program pointed in the right direction, so this means a great deal for them and our program overall. It is pretty unbelievable what they've accomplished in a short amount of time."
Coffman improved to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the league, tied for second place with Davidson, with a 44-6 home win over Westland on Oct. 25. Quarterback Connor Mathews completed 11 of 16 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns, running back Moussa Diallo ran for 70 yards and a score on six carries and Bryon Threats caught two passes for 74 yards and a score as the Shamrocks rolled to a 37-6 halftime lead.
The Shamrocks were projected to be fourth in Region 2 this week. They will be in the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season and 19th time overall.
"I like our effort and overall, I like where we are, but at the same time, we don't always play with the best discipline. We have to play with great effort and not hurt ourselves," Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said. "A few times when we've had opportunities to make crucial plays at crucial times, we've fallen short. The mark of a good team is an ability to rise up and make those kinds of plays."
UA leads the all-time series 12-11 but has lost six consecutive games to Coffman since a 23-14 win in 2012.
The Bears rushed for 301 yards at Central Crossing. Chris Schweisthal had 124 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and Eli D'Herete added 55 yards and two scores on three carries to help UA pull away after the teams were tied at 14 at halftime.
Defensive back Shea Keethler added a 22-yard interception return for a score with two minutes left.
"There were no real halftime adjustments other than some motivation to play harder and better technique-wise," Scally said. "It was a matter of recollecting ourselves at the half and coming out and playing harder."
Crabtree is impressed with the Bears' discipline on both sides of the ball.
"They play hard. (Scally) definitely has something going there. They look like they're doing exactly what the coaches want them to do," Crabtree said. "They run the ball well and defensively, they're not the biggest team, but they execute well. They're where they're supposed to be in terms of alignments and they don't get rattled."