Olentangy hung around for a half, but host Olentangy Orange pulled away down the stretch to notch a convincing 47-17 non-league win Friday night in Lewis Center.
The defense was solid, limiting the Braves (2-2) to just 91 rushing yards, but the offense stole the show.
Pioneer (2-2) quarterback Levi Davis was as efficient as he’s ever been in his young career, completing 15 of his 17 passes for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kobe Sharpe was his top target, hauling in six grabs for 127 yards and a couple scores while J.J. Calip led the charge on the ground, rushing for another 191 yards and two TDs.
As explosive as Orange was late, Olentangy was in the game for most of it.
The Braves took a 10-7 lead when P.J. Harrison powered into the end zone from a yard out with 4:19 left in the second quarter. The lead was short-lived, though, as Davis connected with Sharpe for a 78-yard score a little over a minute later.
Davis pumped once and let it go. Sharpe, who was wide open at midfield, hauled it in before beating a pair of Olentangy defenders to the end zone.
The Braves, who only trailed by four, 14-10, at the break, dodged a bullet at the end of the half. After the Pioneers got to the doorstep, Olentangy forced Davis out of bounds at the two-yard line with two seconds left before Orange missed a field goal.
The Braves got the ball to start the second half, too, but things fell apart in a hurry.
After the Pioneers forced a three and out, the snap back to the Olentangy punter sailed over his head, resulting in a safety.
It was then, with his team up 16-10, Calip took over. The senior made it 23-10 with a three-yard touchdown run with 7:21 left in the third quarter and 30-10 a drive later, when he took a handoff from Davis, found some room on the outside and sprinted 84 yards to the house to all but seal the deal.
Olentangy got a bit closer when Cole Kershner scored from a yard out with 2:12 left in the third, but Orange won the fourth quarter 17-0 — getting touchdown runs from Bobby Ogles (10 yards) and Collin Stringer (38 yards) and a 40-yard field goal from Carter Musgrove — to smooth out the scoring summary.
Olentangy quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer was busy, completing 25 of his 38 passes for 241 yards. Zach Griffith was his top target, finishing with three receptions for 79 yards, while Harrison had 27 yards and a score on the ground.
Olentangy Liberty 21, Olentangy Berlin 17
The Patriots scored the only points of the fourth quarter — getting into the end zone when Jake Struck slipped in from a yard out with 1:11 left — and they proved to be the difference in a thrilling come-from-behind win over the host Bears Friday night in Delaware.
The game was back and fourth from the start. Struck got Liberty going, scoring from two yards out midway through the first quarter and, after Berlin got on the board with a 31-yard field goal off the foot of Spencer Conrad, Patriot QB Andrew Leonard found Evan Nelson for a 25-yard score with 4:31 left in the second.
Then, it was the Bears’ turn to take control.
Quarterback Harrison Brewster hit Jared Moeller for a one-yard score with 22 seconds left in the first half to make it a 14-10 game at the break.
Late in the third quarter, Brewster threw his second scoring strike, this time finding Joe Beaumier from 10 yards out to give the Bears a 17-14 edge.
The lead held up until the final minutes, when Struck struck again.
Buckeye Valley 36, Bishop Ready 35, 2OT
Nathan Huss found Matt Hall for a touchdown and Brendan Olney for the ensuing two-point conversion to tie things at 21 in the final minute and, a couple overtime sessions later, BV escaped with its first win of the season Friday night in Delaware.
Buckeye Valley scored on its first possession of OT when Levi Richards punched it in from eight yards out. Alex Landis added the PAT to give the Barons a 28-21 edge.
Ready answered with a five-yard TD run from Brian Fitzsimmons and took a 35-28 lead when Kentrell Rhinehard scored from a yard out in double OT, but, this time it was BV’s turn to answer.
Huss scored from a yard out to pull his team within a point and, instead of going for the PAT to send the game into triple overtime, the Barons went for two as Michell Melfe ran it in to secure the win.