The Buckeye Valley football team had a first quarter to forget, but it was relatively smooth sailing from there as the Barons stayed perfect in MSL-Ohio play with a 23-6 win over visiting Grandview Heights Friday night in Delaware.
Neither team took care of the ball early on as they combined for three turnovers in the first two minutes alone. BV fumbled away the opening kickoff, but Ripley Sznati came up with an interception a few plays later to give his team the ball back.
Grandview’s Owen Nugent returned the favor on the ensuing series, though, and after the Baron defense came up with another stop, another interception, this time from Logan Baker, set the Bobcats up deep in enemy territory.
A nice run by Henry Ohlinger set up first and goal and, a few plays later, quarterback Brody Parsley hit Maddox Baker on a quick slat to score from five yards out with 2:52 left in the first quarter. The PAT was blocked as Grandview led 6-0.
Things stayed that way until the end of the first quarter, but BV struck quickly in the second to take the lead for good.
On fourth and three from the Grandview 44, Nathan Huss hit Michell Melfe on a quick out for just enough yardage to move the chains. Garrett Slater kept the drive alive with a 19-yard run a few plays later, setting BV up at the Bobcat 12 before Huss scored on an option keeper on the very next play.
Alex Landis calmly connected on the PAT as BV went on top 7-6 — a lead, it turned out, it never relinquished.
After the Barons forced another turnover, an interception by Ethan Browing with 3:53 left in the half, BV used a heavy dose of Slater to move into field goal range. Slater broke free for 20 yards to the 31 and picked up another first down with a strong run into the red zone.
The Grandview defense stood tall from there, but Landis booted a 27-yard field goal with 33.7 seconds left in the half to make it a 10-6 game at the break.
Buckeye Valley, which improved to 4-3 overall and a perfect 4-0 in league play to sit atop the MSL-Ohio with a couple league games left, put the game away with a pair of second-half touchdowns.
After the Baron defense forced a three-and-out on the Bobcats’ ( 2-5, 0-4) first series of the second half, Huss hit Brady Ridder for a 35-yard connection to move the ball into the red zone.
A few plays later and BV led 17-6 thanks to a five-yard TD run by Levi Richards with 6:41 left in the third quarter.
The Barons, who pitched a shutout over the final three quarters, used a 46-yard bomb from Huss to Browning with 10:18 left to put the finishing touches on the win.
Olentangy Berlin 31, Hilliard Darby 28
Spencer Conrad hit a 38-yard field goal in the final seconds to lift the Bears to a thrilling OCC-Cardinal Division win over the visiting Panthers Friday night in Delaware.
Berlin (5-2, 2-0), which trailed 14-7 at halftime, outscored Darby (3-4, 0-2) 24-14 in the second half to seal the deal.
The Bears finished with 427 yards of total offense and 33 first downs. Harrison Brewster completed 23 of his 32 passes for 208 yards and a couple touchdowns. He also ran 16 times for 68 yards and another two scores.
Mason Ziegler had a big night as well, finishing with 151 yards on 25 carries in the win.
Olentangy Liberty 28, Upper Arlington 27
The Patriots rallied in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime, promptly scored their first time with the ball in the extra session and then stopped the Golden Bears on a two-point conversion to hang on for a thrilling OCC-Central Division win Friday night in Upper Arlington.
Jake Struck scored what proved to be the game-winner in OT on a 20-yard TD run. Bliss Archibald hit the all-important extra point, which turned out to be the difference in the game.
Struck rushed 18 times for 133 yards and the score to lead Liberty (3-4, 1-1). Andrew Leonard also had a nice night, completing 18 of his 32 passes for 187 yards and three TDs. Two of his touchdowns went to Alex Okuley, who had nine grabs for 84 yards.
James Hayek led Upper Arlington (5-2, 1-1) with 203 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Big Walnut 35, Worthington Kilbourne 12
The Golden Eagles (6-1, 3-1) ran at will, collecting 344 yards on the ground when all was said and done en route to a lopsided OCC-Capital Division win over the visiting Wolves (2-5, 1-3) Friday night in Sunbury.
Nate Severs did most of the heavy lifting, finishing with 18 carries for 293 yards and two touchdowns.
Jake Nier was also steady, throwing for 101 yards and two scores, while Cam Gladden led the receivers with four grabs for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas Worthington 44, Olentangy 23
The Cardinals (5-2, 1-1) outscored the visiting Braves (3-4, 0-2) 21-3 in the second half to pull away for a lopsided OCC-Cardinal Division win Friday night in Worthington.
Will Cooper completed 20 of his 26 passes for 287 yards and five touchdowns to lead Thomas.
Andrew Leech led the Braves with five grabs for 68 yards and two scores.
Dublin Coffman 35, Olentangy Orange 7
The Shamrocks blanked the visiting Pioneers in the first half and outscored them 21-7 in the second to earn a convincing OCC-Central Division win Friday night in Dublin.
Quinn Hart ran the show for Coffman (5-2, 2-0), completing 12 of his 15 passes for 157 yards and a TD. Carson Cox, meanwhile, had nine carries for 75 yards and another two scores.
Levi Davis led Orange (3-4, 0-2) with 154 yards on 18-for-23 passing.