In a complete turnaround from its first game, the Big Walnut football team jumped out to a 21-0 lead and held off a Buckeye Valley second-quarter rally on its way to a 42-28 non-league win Friday night in Sunbury.
Jagger Barnett hooked up with Sam Elliott for a 56-yard touchdown, Jakob Daniels found daylight around the left side for a 48-yard touchdown run and Nathan Lawyer added a 4-yard run as the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 lead with 6:30 left in the opening frame.
“We were four offensive plays (in) and down 21 points,” BV coach Matt Stephens said. “They made plays and we’re down 21-0. We showed resiliency as far as battling back.”
BW found itself on the other side of that score a week ago against Johnstown-Monroe.
“Last week we came out struggling a little bit and coach preached that we needed to be stronger … and that’s what we did tonight,” Daniels said. “I’m proud of my team.”
“We got kids that are getting better,” BW coach Joe Weaver said. “Our biggest goal was to get better from Week 1 to Week 2 across the board and in all phases … I’m proud of the kids (because) they stepped up to the challenge. We got better.”
BV needed a pair of fourth down conversions to finally get going on its third drive. Up-back Andre Ash took a snap in punt formation and ran 12 yards on fourth-and-1 and Duncan Faulk converted a 13-yard run on fourth-and-one on the next set of downs to set up a Grant Owens to Will Weinberg 15-yard touchdown with 1:43 left in the first.
Zach Gerber broke free up the middle and ran 53 yards to cut the Baron deficit to seven with a little over nine minutes left in the half.
But, Daniels came up big again for the Eagles … this time on the defensive side of the ball. He leaped and snagged a Grant Owens pass at midfield with 41 seconds left in the half.
“I would love to get my play call back on that (one),” Stephens said. “I’m going to take that one to my grave. I should have just ran the football and been smart about it. I got greedy and it cost us seven points – which doesn’t win us the game – it definitely would have given us a different feeling there going into halftime.”
Barnett found Cohen Andreini on a post for 47 yards to set up a Tyler Crotinger 2-yard touchdown run a couple of plays later to push the BW lead to 28-14 at the break.
BW added a 4-yard run and a 45-yard touchdown from Barnett to Montgomery in the third to push the lead as high as 28.
Owens connected with Duncan Faulk on an 83-yard touchdown for the Barons (0-2) that made it 42-21 with 2:21 left in the third. Owens would add a 12-yard touchdown to Beau Ewing in the fourth to account for the final margin.
It was the first meeting between the schools since 1997.
“Buckeye Valley is a good football team,” Weaver said. “It’s a slugfest. They’re coming off a big game with Delaware and they came back with a big game here. All Delaware County football is rivalry stuff and we haven’t played those guys in a while. So, it was a fun rivalry to revisit.”
BW hosts Dublin Scioto while BV heads to Mount Vernon in non-league games next week. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.