Lowman, Pacers roll over Warriors


Delaware Hayes quarterback Jake Lowman was dealing early and often as the Pacers overwhelmed Westerville North en route to a 55-34 win in Delaware on Friday evening.

Lowman finished with five touchdown passes, including a pair of scoring strikes each to receivers Austin Koslow and Wyatt Kirtland, and the Hayes defense forced five turnovers on the way to the blowout victory.

Defensive back Justin Matthews turned in a three-turnover performance, including two interceptions, and Lucas Dotson recorded his first-career touchdown with an 81-yard pick-six to lead the Pacers defense.

Hayes wasted no time in setting the tone following the opening kickoff of the game.

On third down at his own 28-yard line, Lowman evaded pressure to find Jaliq Wilson for 26 yards and a new set of downs to put Hayes on the move. Five plays later, Lowman and Kaden Gannon connected for a 21-yard scoring strike and an early 7-0 lead.

Westerville North was on the verge of answering quickly following the ensuing kickoff, which was returned by Micah Young to the Hayes 39. A key third-down sack of quarterback Ronald Jackson by Hayes’ Dalton Allen forced Westerville North to settle for a field goal attempt, however, and that attempt was blocked to thwart North’s scoring opportunity.

North’s offense was right back on the field less than a minute later after Lowman was intercepted by Preston Scott, but the Hayes defense again delivered a massive blow to steal all momentum in the game.

Facing a third down from their own 19, Hayes’ Joe Moose was left untouched as he drilled Jackson’s blindside, forcing the ball to pop in the air. Dotson plucked the loose ball out of the air for the interception and raced 81 yards to the end zone for the pick-six.

Cooper Goble’s extra point made it 14-0 Hayes with four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, and the big plays were just getting started for the Pacers.

Following a three-and-out from the North offense, Lowman needed just two plays to increase the Hayes lead and blow the game wide open. His 42-yard strike to Koslow was Lowman’s second touchdown pass of the first half and gave Hayes a 21-0 lead with 2:21 to play in the opening quarter.

Hayes running back Josh Russell added to the lead early in the second quarter on a 16-yard scoring run as he carried a host of North defenders into the end zone. The physical run upped the Hayes lead to 28-0, and the big plays continued to come in bunches.

The mistakes continued to pile up for North on the ensuing drive, and the game subsequently continued to spiral quickly. Jackson was intercepted by Matthews to end the drive, and the Hayes offense needed just two plays to blow the game wide open with a 42-yard bomb from Lowman to Kirtland.

With 7:30 still to play in the first half, Hayes had opened up a 35-0 lead, but a pair of North touchdowns in the final five minutes of the half slightly subdued the Hayes momentum as the two teams headed to the locker room.

Lowman finished the half with 243 yards and three touchdowns through the air to lead Hayes, and his prolific evening would continue into the second half as well.

Indicative of their entire evening, North fumbled on the first play from scrimmage to open the second half, and Matthews was there to pounce on the loose ball. Hayes was able to convert the turnover into three points on a 39-yard field goal by Goble, increasing the lead to 38-14.

North momentarily pulled itself back into the game on the following drive when Jackson found Young again for an 18-yard touchdown. Jackson’s scamper on the two-point conversion closed the deficit to 38-22 with 7:57 remaining in the third, but Lowman and the Hayes offense simply wouldn’t be stopped.

A 33-yard strike from Lowman to Kirtland one drive later pushed the Hayes lead to 45-22, and, following Dotson’s second interception of the night, Lowman added another score. Lowman’s fifth touchdown pass, including the second to Koslow, increased the Hayes lead to 55-22 as the Pacers cruised to the win.

“Jake Lowman is a special kid … He throws a great ball,” Hayes head coach Ryan Montgomery said following the game. “One of the things when we got Jake into the position, he’s been a varsity basketball player since he was a freshman. So, we knew the lights weren’t going to be too bright for him. He bought into the system in February, started learning, and you can tell he knows it well. He’s just driving the car back there.”

Despite the sizable win, Montgomery said there is still plenty of growth to be done for his team as it learns how to win games consistently.

“As a program that is starting to build, we came out and got 35 (points) on them and then we kind of faltered a little bit,” he said. “We have to learn how to handle success, and I think the more and more that we do that, the more you’re going to see this program continue to grow.”

Delaware Hayes will look to continue its winning ways next week when it travels to Worthington Kilbourne.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

No posts to display