Thomas Worthington at Dublin Jerome: Cardinals, Celtics ready to test schemes

STEPHEN BORGNA
sborgna@thisweeknews.com
Isaac Settles of Thomas Worthington carries the ball past Garret Ramsey and Gavyn Fulk of Newark before being tackled during their game Aug. 28 at Thomas. The Cardinals won 30-0.

First-year Thomas Worthington football coach Mike Picetti watched his team defeat visiting Newark 30-0 on Aug. 28, and the Cardinals will look to stay in the win column when they visit Dublin Jerome on Friday, Sept. 4, in the OCC-Cardinal Division opener.

The Celtics lost 41-6 to visiting Dublin Coffman on Aug. 28, and Jerome coach Bob Gecewich, who led his team to the OCC-Cardinal title last season, said his offense will face a challenge against the Thomas defense.

The Cardinals are running a hybrid 4-3 defense under Picetti, who served as defensive coordinator at Hilliard Bradley from 2017-19, and they are an experienced unit led by three-year starter Reese Dykstra at linebacker.

Thomas held Newark to 62 yards passing and 40 yards rushing in Week 1.

"Their head coach is a really, really good defensive-minded coach," Gecewich said. "He's been at Bradley the past couple of years, and they've given our league fits. He's really good at what he does. They have a bunch of multiple-year starters on their roster, which is going to be difficult for us."

Picetti said Jerome quarterback Ryan Miller, who was 14-for-27 passing for 202 yards with one touchdown and an interception against Coffman, leads an offense capable of putting up points.

"They're sound offensively. Their quarterback is probably one of the better quarterbacks in central Ohio," Picetti said. "He's a very smart kid and does a great job of picking apart defenses as far as reading stuff. And defensively, they're sound in their scheme and they do a great job running the football."

The Thomas offense, led by quarterback Isaac Settles, will look to repeat its opening-game success.

Settles, who took a year off from football his junior year, completed six of 12 passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 181 yards and a score on 14 carries.

Gecewich said his team's relatively inexperienced defense will need to step up in Week 2. Of the 16 players who saw time on defense against Coffman, he said it was the first game action at the varsity level for 14 of them.

"That being said, they're varsity players -- they don't have that excuse anymore," Gecewich said. "(Thomas has) some kids coming back, they're going to have a great scheme and those kids are coming off a success. So their effort level, their energy level, their confidence is going to be extremely high, as it should be.

"We have to have a much better week, and we've got to learn both from the positive and the negative side of how our Friday went."

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

WEEK 2

THOMAS WORTHINGTON at DUBLIN JEROME

*When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4

*Last meeting: 2019, Dublin Jerome 31-0

*Thomas (1-0) to date: Defeated Newark 30-0

*Jerome (0-1) to date: Lost to Dublin Coffman 41-6

*Top Cardinals: Camden Beatty (DB/WR), Sam Carver (OL/DL), Reese Dykstra (LB/LS), Ethan Gerding (OL/DL), Jayden Harris (RB/DB), Jayvaun Lane (DB), Brandon Ross (TE/DL) and Isaac Settles (QB)

*Top Celtics: Will Ackert (LB), Sopulu Aninweze (DL), Carter Barco (WR/DB), Noah Dorsey (OL/DL), John Garrity (OL), Seth Martin (WR/DB), Sean McCarthy (OL/DL), Ryan Miller (QB/DB), Jack Soehner (LB) and Sammy Stoner (WR/DB)