Over 600 miles lie in between Goose Creek High School and its first football opponent this season.
The Gators make a 10-hour trip to Dayton, Ohio to tangle with Pickerington Central as part of the inaugural Backyard Blitz event on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to see how we match up with a team from another part of the country,” GCHS coach Chuck Reedy said. “This will be a great experience for our players and we are anxious to see how they respond to the challenge.”
The Gators have successfully handled 38 of the last 39 challenges on the field including one against a squad that reminds Reedy of Pickerington Central.
He compared the Tigers to defending Class AAAA Div. I state champion Dutch Fork. The Gators defeated Dutch Fork 35-21 during the regular season last fall.
“They are similar,” he said. “They want to run the ball and play-action pass off of that. Their starting quarterback is returning. They have a big offensive line and very good running back.”
The Tigers were 8-3 last season and are the eight-time defending Ohio Capital Conference Ohio division champions. They won 11 games in 2010 and 2011.
With just over 1,100 enrollment, Pickerington Central would be a Class AAA team in South Carolina.
The Gators are coming off a 27-8 victory over West Ashley in a two-quarter scrimmage on the first night of the Sertoma Classic last week.
Goose Creek was 12-1 last season, losing in the second round of the Class AAAA Div. II playoffs.