By Ben Stroup
Hayes quarterback Cullen Moore sprinted into the end zone from 28 yards out to put the Pacers up early in the fourth quarter, but a late answer helped Westland escape with a 14-10 non-league win Friday in Delaware.
After falling behind for the first time since early in the opening quarter, Cougar QB Clay Carrel hooked up with Adjrain Settler from 40 yards out to account for the final margin.
Carrel was a problem for the Pacers all night long. He completed 10 of his 11 passes for 112 yards while rushing for 100 more.
The Pacers corralled him early on, breaking the scoring seal when Noah Watts capped a solid series with a 25-yard field goal, that coming after Caleb Naegele got the offense the ball by standing up Carrel on a fourth-down play in the red zone to end Westland’s game-opening drive.
The Cougars (2-1) were quick to answer, though, responding in the form of a 43-yard TD run from Matthew Mickens. The score gave the visitors a 7-3 edge they maintained until the fourth quarter.
Despite Carrel’s big night, Hayes was pretty solid on the defensive side of the ball. Westland attempted six fourth-down plays, converting just once.
Grant Conahan and Cole Sparks led the defensive effort with five tackles apiece. Max Hendrix was also solid, finishing with two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery, while Ethan Tucky chipped in four tackles and a fumble recovery of his own.
Moore led the Pacer offense, rushing for 110 yards on 13 attempts to go with his touchdown. He completed six of his 14 passes for 69 yards. Sean Gliebe was also steady, rushing for 62 yards in the setback, while Watts finished as the leading receiver with a pair of grabs for 27 yards.
Hayes opens league play Friday against visiting Worthington Kilbourne.
Liberty 28, Dublin Jerome 6
The Patriots started a bit slow, but more than made up for it in the second half, using a 21-point third quarter to notch a 28-6 non-league win over the visiting Celtics Friday in Powell.
Liberty running back Trent Davies ran for a six-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter, accounting for the only TD of the opening half. A.J. Smith added the PAT to make it 7-0 with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
Quarterback Alex Lando and company really stepped up in the third, though. Lando found Brendon White for a 33-yard TD, then hooked up with Will Fowler for scores of 35 and 67 to balloon the edge to 28-0 with a quarter to play.
Joe Dunnan finally got Jerome on the board with a three-yard TD run with less than two minutes to play.
Lando led a Patriot attack which averaged 6.9 yards per play. He completed 13 of his 22 passes for 271 yards and the three TDs.
Davies was the team’s leading rusher with 56 yards in 15 attempts while Fowler and White combined for five grabs covering nearly 200 yards. Fowler had two for 102 and White three for 73.
The Patriots open league play Friday against visiting Central Crossing.
Olentangy 24, Pickerington North 22
The Braves started fast and hung on late to notch a nice bounce-back win over the host Panthers Friday in Pickerington.
Olentangy’s Alex Draime recovered a fumble with 90 seconds left to seal the deal after North pulled within two and recovered an onside kick.
The Braves (2-1) went up 24-16 when Cam Kennedy powered into the end zone from a yard out with 9.2 seconds left in the third.
The Panthers’ Noah Owens tightened it up with a three-yard TD run late in the fourth, but the two-point conversion failed, setting up the frantic finish.
The Braves started strong, getting a three-yard TD run from Jimmy Elmurr less than three minutes into the action.
North’s Kendall Marcum answered with a 41-yard field goal before Alex Morgan scored on a 20-yard pass from Michael Lowery, but Olentangy didn’t trail for long.
Just two minutes after seeing the Panthers take a 10-7 lead, quarterback Deeb Haber found Jake O’Donnell for a 24-yard scoring strike to help the Braves regain the lead — a lead they never relinquished.
Jacob Bell added a 36-yard field goal in the third to smooth out the Olentangy scoring summary.
Haber completed 12 of his 24 passes for 188 yards and a TD in the win. O’Donnell was the team’s leading receiver with four grabs for 73 yards and the score.
The Braves start their defense of the OCC-Capital Division crown Friday against visiting Big Walnut.
Westerville Central 33, Orange 10
The Pioneers couldn’t have asked for a better start, scoring less than four minutes into the game on a 16-yard Bobby Eleyet touchdown run, but the visiting Warhawks dominated the rest of the way to notch a 33-10 non-league win Friday in Lewis Center.
Eleyet’s run, and the ensuing extra point put through by Joe Metcalf, gave Orange (0-3) a 7-0 lead with 8:28 left in the first quarter.
Metcalf booted home a 39-yard field goal to snap a streak of 12 straight Central (3-0) points, making it a 12-10 game early in the second quarter, but the visitors scored the last 21 points of the game to seal the deal.
The Pioneers moved the ball, racking up 344 yards of total offense, but turned it over four times in the setback.
Orange’s J.D. Dayhuff completed eight of his 14 passes for 108 yards while Tyler Lichter had a team-best 146 yards on the ground.
The Pioneers open league play Friday when they travel to New Albany.
St. Charles 31, Big Walnut 16
Isaac Lucas got the Golden Eagles on the board with a 77-yard touchdown run, Tommy Fleser added a 36-yard field goal to bring Big Walnut (1-2) to within four by halftime and Evan Garcia scored on a three-yard run early in the second, but the Cardinals’ three defensive touchdowns made the difference in a 31-16 non-league win Friday in Columbus.
Big Walnut outgained St. Charles 355-184, with Garcia accounting for 144 yards on the ground.