After an August of two-a-day practices and scrimmages, those Friday night lights will shine once more in football fields for 715 football teams all across the state of Ohio in six divisions. Central Ohio football is the best kept secret around.
When it comes to Ohio football, there are the Cincinnati/Dayton powerhouses, the Cleveland powerhouses, the Akron/Canton powerhouses, and then the Central Ohio powerhouses.
This blog is about Central Ohio football in the Central Ohio region (Franklin, Delaware, Madison, Pickaway, Fairfield, Licking, and Union Counties, and the conferences represented by those counties), as well as the College Football and the NFL, primarily.
Anyway, back to those Friday night lights.
BIG GAME OF THE WEEK:
Gahanna Lincoln Golden Lions at St. Francis DeSales Stallions
This is a matchup that has been done before. The public school vs. the local suburban Catholic school. It's been done with many schools (Watterson and Upper Arlington, St. Charles/Hartley and Bexley, Ready and Franklin Heights). This will be the first of three such rivalry games for the Stallions of St. Francis DeSales to kickoff the 2011 season.
BIG RIVALRY GAMES THIS WEEK:
(The Battle of Broad Street: Columbus)
East Tigers at West Cowboys
There is a new sherriff at Chic Harley Field, and his name is Carter. Lewis Carter. After 13 seasons and one playoff appearance, Mike White stepped aside after last season's painful 1-9 season for the Tigers, and Lewis Carter, a former Mifflin player, and arena football player promises to bring back winning football traditions on the Near East Side. The Lewis Carter era begins with a trek down Broad Street to the Hilltop to play the West Cowboys, who are looking for their first division title since 1975.
(THE Battle of Broad Street: Licking County)
Licking Heights Hornets at Watkins Memorial Warriors
In 2013, these two could fight for a Division title, as the Licking County League will return after a quarter-century hiatus in two years. Until then, these two Pataskala rivals will duke it out and fight for bragging rights for Broad Street.
(The WarEagle Trophy)
Sunbury Big Walnut Golden Eagles at Westerville Central Warhawks
These Delaware County rivals will fight it out for the WarEagle trophy.
Buckeye Valley Barons at Delaware Rutherford B. Hayes Pacers
This perennial Week 1 rivalry between these two Delaware high schools has been a staple in the community for decades.
Columbus Franklin Heights Golden Falcons at Columbus Bishop Ready Silver Knights
This West Side Public vs. Catholic school rivalry meets up once again this year. Last year, the Silver Knights escaped with a 23-21 win over the Falcons.
OTHER BIG GAMES THIS WEEK:
Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles at Pickerington North Panthers
The Watterson Golden Eagles begin a defense of their Division III title against the upstart Pickerington North Panthers.
Bishop Hartley Hawks at Amanda-Clearcreek Aces
Like with their Clintonville counterparts, the Hartley Hawks begin a defense of a state football title (D-IV), as they begin in Fairfield County against a team that the Hawks beat twice last year on the way to glory in Stark County.
Northland Vikings at Eastmoor Academy Warriors
The Vikings began their surprise season last year with an upset over the Warriors. Could the Vikings prove that last year wasn't a fluke?
St. Charles Cardinals at Canal Winchester Indians
This will be an interesting matchup against two growing football programs.
Olentangy Liberty Patriots at Dublin Coffman Shamrocks
Columbus Brookhaven Bearcats at Columbus Marion-Franklin Red Devils
Grove City Greyhounds at Hilliard Davidson Wildcats
Logan Chieftains at Lancaster Golden Gales
Pickerington Central Tigers at Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (Saturday, Noon)
OTHER GAMES THIS WEEK:
Columbus Independence 76ers at Beechcroft Cougars
Columbus Centennial Stars at Grandview Heights Bobcats
Westland Cougars at Linden McKinley Panthers (at Hagely Field?)
Hilliard Darby Panthers at Columbus Whetstone Braves
Cleveland Heights at Columbus Walnut Ridge Scots
Columbus South Bulldogs at Warrensville Heights
Bellville Clear Fork Colts at Columbus Briggs Bruins
Columbus Africentric Nubians at Bexley Lions
Olentangy Orange Pioneers at Olentangy Braves
Reynoldsburg Raiders at Dublin Jerome Celtics
Newark Wildcats at Zanesville Blue Devils
Licking Valley Panthers at New Albany Eagles
Lexington at Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets
Dublin Scioto Irish at Hilliard Bradley Jaguars
Marion Harding Presidents at Marysville Monarchs
Groveport Madison Cruisers at Westerville South Wildcats
Worthington Kilbourne Wolves at Westerville North Warriors
Mifflin Punchers at Central Crossing Comets
Thomas Worthington Cardinals at Jonathan Alder Pioneers
Upper Arlington Golden Bears at Dresden Tri-Valley Scotties
Bloom-Carroll Bruins at Baltimore Liberty Union Lions
Miami Trace Panthers at Circleville Tigers
Fairfield Union Falcons at New Lexington
Hamilton Township Rangers at Chillicothe Cavaliers
Circleville Logan Elm Braves at Washington Court House Blue Lions
Williamsport Westfall Mustangs at Ashville Teays Valley Vikings
Crooksville at Sugar Grove Berne Union Rockets
Harvest Prep Warriors at Newark Catholic Green Wave
Fairfield Christian at Millersport Lakers
West Jefferson Roughriders at Mechanicsburg
Maysville at Columbus Academy Vikings
Johnstown Johnnies at Granville Blue Aces
Heath Bulldogs at Martins Ferry
Thornville Sheridan Generals at Hebron Lakewood Lancers
Cardington-Lincoln Pirates at Centerburg Trojans
Rittman at Danville Blue Devils
East Knox Bulldogs at Coshocton Redskins
Sparta Highland Scots at Fredericktown Freddies
Loudonville at Ontario
Mount Gilead at Colonel Crawford
Crestline at Galion Northmor Golden Knights
Van Buren at Morral Ridgedale
Bucyrus at Marion Elgin
Fairbanks at North Union
Bucyrus Wynford at River Valley Vikings
London Red Raiders at Urbana Hillclimbers
Madison Plains Golden Eagles at Cedarville
Grove City Christian at St. John Central
Marion Pleasant at St. Henry
Utica Redskins at Rayland Buckeye Local
Whitehall-Yearling Rams at Lancaster Fisher Catholic Irish