Pacers run past Barons, 35-0


DELAWARE – The first drive of the season for both the Delaware Hayes and Buckeye Valley football teams told the fortune of how the game would play out.

BV showed its ability to move the ball, but ultimately couldn’t cross the goal line.

Hayes showed its ability to run the ball … often … and for a lot of yards in a 35-0 win over the Barons in a non-league contest Friday night.

The Pacers move their winning streak over rival BV to nine games.

Hayes amassed 411 yards on the ground, led by Blake Eiland (164 yards and a touchdown on eight carries), Jahi Broussard-Nash (156 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries) and Luke Jackson (60 yards and two touchdowns on six carries).

“Luke makes the tough yards for us,” Broussard-Nash said. “He knows everything in the playbook. Blake is a straight-up athlete and he can do everything.”

The Pacers (1-0) got key defensive plays by Orion Ward, who had an interception in the end zone, and Keishawn Mack and Sebastian Mehan, who each recorded a fourth-down sack to stop BV drives in Hayes territory.

It was Hayes’ most lopsided win over BV since a 30-6 win in 2014 and its first shutout in the series since 2013 (51-0).

Broussard-Nash had a 34-yard run on Hayes’ first series that ultimately set up a Jackson 4-yard run, capping an 8-play, 85-yard drive that came solely on the ground.

“The vision really comes from my linemen and my wide receivers, who were blocking for me out there,” Broussard-Nash said. “They help out so much. They make it 10 times easier for me.”

It came after BV had driven into Hayes territory to open the game. QB Anthony Hughes found Andre Ash for 18 yards down to the Hayes 45. But a false start penalty stunted the drive and the Barons punted.

“We have no toes left on our foot because we shot ourselves,” BV coach Matt Stephens said. “I don’t know how many times we marched it down and we have a snap infraction, we blow an assignment … I mean time after time. We had some positive plays, but we’re not good enough to overcome a first-and-15 after a penalty.”

Broussard-Nash set up Hayes’ second score with a 36-yard run through the left side of the Baron defense on the opening play of the drive. Jackson went up the gut for 12 yards to give the Pacers a 14-0 lead with 9:45 left in the half.

The roles were reversed two possessions later when Jackson broke free for a 32-yarder before Broussard-Nash scored from 23 yards out down the left sideline to push the lead to 21-0 with 2:45 left in the half.

“They were giving us a little room there and we’ve got some guys up front who have been there for a long time and we just took advantage of it,” Hayes coach Scott Wetzel said. “Jahi’s obviously going to break some tackles. As much as we like to say that we can throw the ball and we’ve got receivers … the running game is the strength of our program.”

Eiland finished 4-for-9 for 57 yards through the air.

BV drove down to the Hayes 23 before Hughes’ fade into the right side of the end zone was picked off by Hayes’ Ward to end the threat.

“Buckeye Valley battled,” Wetzel said. “They did some things we didn’t expect them to do. I thought they were really physical and I think they’re going to be fine down the road. I think Matt does a great job with them. I’m glad we’re playing them now rather than down the road.”

The Barons moved it into Hayes territory on the first possession of the second half and appeared to be on their way to a score when Hughes found Andy Anthony at the 1.

Eiland broke free on a 95-yard run down the right sideline to blow the game open at 28-0 at the 3:17 mark of the third quarter.

Broussard-Nash added a 27-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to smooth out the scoring.

“Hayes’ offense is one of the best offenses we’ll see all year,” Stephens said. “I’ve been coaching here since 2014 and that’s the most explosive offense I’ve seen from them. They’re going to win a lot of football games this year.”

The Barons finished with 214 yards of total offense, including 134 yards passing and 80 yards on the ground.

Hughes had 124 yards passing, going 14-for-24 with one interception. Ash led the Barons (0-1) with 50 yards on four catches.

“We’re in the same boat as half the other teams in the state,” Stephens said. “We’re not in uncharted territory here. We know they’re not going to accept it, but what’s done is done. We can’t fix that … all we can do is get better for Big Walnut next week.”

Both teams continue non-league play next Friday at 7 p.m. BV opens its home schedule against BW. Hayes takes to the road for the first time against Marysville at Hilliard Bradley High School.

Hayes’ Jahi Broussard-Nash eludes Buckeye Valley’s Jake Smothers (2) during the first half of Friday’s season opener in Delaware.’ Jahi Broussard-Nash eludes Buckeye Valley’s Jake Smothers (2) during the first half of Friday’s season opener in Delaware. Ben Stroup | Gazette

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

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