Pacers pull away from Barons


Win 24-7 to nab 7th straight against BV

By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



Buckeye Valley’s Wyatt McGraw, left, and Lathan McGraw combine to take down Delaware Hayes’ Luke Jackson as he powers toward the goal line during the first half of Friday’s season opener at OWU’s Selby Stadium.

Buckeye Valley’s Wyatt McGraw, left, and Lathan McGraw combine to take down Delaware Hayes’ Luke Jackson as he powers toward the goal line during the first half of Friday’s season opener at OWU’s Selby Stadium.


Ben Stroup | Gazette

There was no better way for Scott Wetzel to start his tenure as football coach for Delaware Hayes.

His Pacers won 24-7 over archrival Buckeye Valley in front over 7,000 fans in a near full house Friday night at Ohio Wesleyan’s Selby Stadium.

“When you take a team on the field for the first time – you really don’t know what to expect,” Wetzel said. “I know the Buckeye Valley fans and I lived in Delaware, so I know the Delaware fans. It’s a good rivalry game … and what a great place to play it.”

BV coach Matt Stephens, meanwhile, didn’t get a chance to take in the crowd.

“I’m sure it was a great atmosphere,” he said. “These kids work hard for nine months out of the year and this is what they deserve to play in front of – play in a venue like this. I told them, ‘You will never forget this for the rest of your lives.’ I just wish it was a better memory.”

Wetzel hasn’t coached in a Hayes-BV game since 1996 – which created an interesting bookend.

“We beat them here – so, I’m 2-0 at Ohio Wesleyan,” Wetzel said. “It was my last (Hayes-BV) game.”

The game was full of twists and turns. But, ultimately the result was the same as it was the previous six times: a Hayes win.

“Unfortunately for us – it’s a familiar spot we’re in — starting the season 0-for-1,” Stephens said. “We have to come back next week at Big Walnut (at 7 p.m.) and get a win. It’s hard to go down 0-2.”

The Pacers seemed poised to put the game out of reach after taking the second-half kickoff and marching 50 yards on 11 plays before the game turned for the first time.

BV’s Andy Anthony intercepted a Blake Eiland pass and returned it 50 yards to set up BV’s only score – a Zach Gerber 4-yard touchdown run with 6:23 left in the third to cut BV’s deficit to 10-7.

“I thought we had a little shift in momentum there, but we just couldn’t maintain it,” Stephens said.

“That was a big turnaround,” Wetzel said. “I thought we kept our composure and we got the ball down the field and scored. I was really proud of the effort our kids gave.”

Hayes (1-0) appeared to snatch momentum back when Jahi Broussard-Nash took an Eiland screen pass 82 yards for a touchdown. But, the play was called back on a penalty and sacks by Jack McKean and Matt Pentecost stalled the Pacer drive.

BV was moving on its next possession until Davis intercepted a Grant Owens pass to set up a Luke Jackson 1-yard run with 10:13 left in the game. Eiland converted a fourth-and-inches on the previous play to keep the drive alive.

“(Davis) is just a player,” Wetzel said. “I thought (assistant coach) Ryan Montgomery did a great job with our defense as our offense was sputtering a little bit. Our defense kept us in the game.”

Hayes jumped out of the gate with an Eiland 41-yard run. Jackson converted a fourth-and-1 inside the 10 to set up an Eiland 1-yard touchdown with 7:45 left in the opening frame.

The Pacer defensive line made life difficult for BV (0-1) in the first half, accounting for four sacks. Logan McKenzie’s sack early in the second quarter stalled a BV drive in Hayes territory that started with a Will Weinberg fumble recovery – seemingly turning momentum for the first time.

BV’s offense finally got going late in the second quarter. Gerber took a screen pass from Owens 19 yards into Hayes territory.

But, Davis came up with a fumble recovery on the next play to end the threat.

“We stressed all (offseason) about playing as a team and my teammate (Jacob Hunsaker) and I – just like last year – recovered it,” Davis said. “I got lucky, but it was all my teammates.”

“Buckeye Valley is a good football team,” Wetzel said. “They’re gonna win a lot of games. But, I thought our guys handled it really well.”

Broussard-Nash followed with a 21-yard run and Eiland found Lequans Banks-Christian for 15-yards to set up a Kyle Klumpp field goal with 6 seconds left in the half to push the Pacer lead to 10-0 at the break.

“I thought our kicker did a good job,” Wetzel said. “He came over from the soccer team (and) this is his first time kicking. I was really proud of him.”

Broussard-Nash scored on a 31-yard run with 1:27 left in the game to cap the scoring.

Buckeye Valley’s Wyatt McGraw, left, and Lathan McGraw combine to take down Delaware Hayes’ Luke Jackson as he powers toward the goal line during the first half of Friday’s season opener at OWU’s Selby Stadium.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2018/08/web1_hayesbv13.jpgBuckeye Valley’s Wyatt McGraw, left, and Lathan McGraw combine to take down Delaware Hayes’ Luke Jackson as he powers toward the goal line during the first half of Friday’s season opener at OWU’s Selby Stadium. Ben Stroup | Gazette
Win 24-7 to nab 7th straight against BV

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.