The Delaware Hayes football team finished with a flourish, topping host Franklin Heights 30-6 in Friday’s regular-season finale.
With the win, this year’s Pacers (8-2, 5-2) became just the second team in program history to win eight games, and the first since 1988.
Hayes, already up 14-0 after a quarter, cruised to the finish line, outscoring Franklin Heights (2-8, 1-6) 13-0 in the second half to seal the deal.
Jake Lowman, Garrett Brown and Gavin Brinkmoeller led the Hayes offense — a unit which racked up more than 400 yards.
Lowman completed 10 of his 17 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns — one each to Brown, Austin Koslow and Jaliq Wilson. Brown finished with four grabs for 143 yards while Brinkmoeller closed with a game-high 94 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Jaxon Smith intercepted a pass, Wyatt Collins recovered a fumble and Connor Murphy finished with a team-best eight tackles.
The eight-win season earned Hayes the eighth seed in the upcoming Division I, Region 2 playoffs, and the home game that comes with it. The Pacers will host ninth-seeded Miamisburg in Friday’s opener. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Olentangy Berlin 38, Thomas Worthington 7
The Bears put the finishing touches on their second straight OCC-Cardinal Division championship Friday night, capping the regular season with a lopsided win over the visiting Cardinals.
Berlin was in control from the start, following up a 10-0 first quarter with a 21-0 second to all but seal the deal by halftime.
Mason Ziegler powered the Bears on the ground, closing with 99 rushing yards to go with a pair of touchdowns. Harrison Brewster was also solid, accounting for two more scores — a nine-yard TD run and a 58-yard scoring strike to Joe Beaumier to balloon the lead to 31-0 late in the first half.
Alejandro Aguilar scored on a 59-yard run in the third to smooth out his team’s scoring summary.
The win was Berlin’s ninth straight.
The Bears (9-1, 5-0), the second seed in the Division I, Region 2 playoffs, will host Marysville in Friday’s opener. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Big Walnut 17, Canal Winchester 0
Needing a win to get into the playoffs, the Golden Eagles delivered in a big way, knocking off the previously undefeated Indians Friday night on the road.
Big Walnut (5-5, 4-3) broke the scoring seal with a 22-yard field goal off the foot of Ryan Elliot — a kick that accounted for all the first-half scoring.
The Eagles turned to their all-everything running back in the second half, taking a 10-0 edge when Nate Severs broke free for an 83-yard touchdown run in the third. Garrett Stover added a long scoring run of his own — a 60-yarder in the fourth — to cement the win.
Severs finished with a game-best 147 yards and the touchdown on the ground. The BW defense, meanwhile, held the Indians to less than 100 yards of total offense with Brody Hatfield and Jake Neff each picking off passes.
The win over Canal worked wonders for Big Walnut in the final Division II, Region 7 computer ratings, moving it from the outside looking in to the 12th seed. The Eagles will play at fifth-seeded and 9-1 Northland to open the playoffs Friday at 7 p.m.
Olentangy Liberty 21, Olentangy Orange 7
The Patriots put together a strong showing in Friday’s regular-season finale, using a long drive out of the locker room to take a 14-0 third-quarter lead they parlayed into a win over the rival Pioneers.
Up one score at the break, Jake Struck capped an eight-minute drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to give Liberty (3-7, 2-3) a 14-0 edge late in the third quarter.
He added another TD run, his third of the game, to make it 21-0 early in the fourth before Orange (4-6, 2-3), quarterback Levi Davis found Hunter Bright for a 12-yard score to account for the final margin.
Struck finished with 163 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Patriot QB Andrew Leonard also had a big game, rushing for 92 yards, while Wilson Roberts caught four passes for a game-best 58 yards.
Davis led the Pioneers with 99 yards through the air and 55 on the ground.
Next up, both teams will turn their attention to the playoffs. The 14th-seeded Patriots will play at third-seeded Findlay while the 13th-seeded Pioneers with play at fourth-seeded Centerville. Both games are set to get underway at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Olentangy 39, Marysville 29
Ethan Grunkemeyer threw for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns as the Braves put a bow on the regular season with a league win over the visiting Monarchs Friday night in Lewis Center.
Marysville (4-6, 2-3) landed the first blow, but Olentangy (9-1, 4-1) was quick to answer as Grunkemeyer found Jackson Wiley for a 39-yard score to even things up with about two minutes left in the first quarter.
Grunkemeyer hit Andrew Leech for a TD midway through the second and, after the Monarchs scored a pair of touchdowns to take a 21-13 lead into the break, the Braves used a dominant second half to complete the comeback.
Wiley was Grunkemeyer’s top target, finishing with nine grabs for 138 yards. Leech also had nine receptions to go with 92 yards and two scores. Sam Uhlenhake also had a touchdown reception in the win.
With the win, top-seeded Olentangy will open the playoffs against 16th-seeded and visiting Dublin Jerome Friday night at 7 p.m.
Buckeye Valley 23, Whitehall-Yearling 7
The Barons put together a pair of solid halves, parlaying a 9-0 halftime advantage into a win over the host Rams in Friday’s CBL finale.
Whitehall (1-9, 0-4) scored to make it a 9-7 game midway through the third, but Buckeye Valley scored a pair of unanswered touchdowns to pull away.
Malakhi Ross scored from seven yards out with about two minutes left in the third before closing out the scoring summary with a 38-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Next up, Buckeye Valley (5-5, 2-2) will open the Division III, Region 11 playoffs against host Tri-Valley. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night.