The Buckeye Valley football team built a 6-0 halftime lead with a pair of field goals and scored the only insurance points it would need with a fumble recovery in the end zone with 8:28 left in the third on the way to a thrilling MOAC win over the visiting and previously undefeated Spartans Friday in Delaware.
“We went in thinking we had to stop the run and we were able to do that,” BV coach Matt Stephens said. “The kids were physical for four quarters, they hung in tough for four quarters, and I’m proud of them … really pleased with the effort.”
Felipe Scharff broke the scoring seal with a 35-yard field goal with 10:01 left in the first quarter. His second, a 24-yarder, made it 6-0 with 1:18 left in the second.
Buckeye Valley doubled its advantage less that four minutes into the second half on a punt of all things. Ben Atiyeh recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown after it bounced off a Pleasant player.
The Spartans showed some signs of life late, getting on the board when Ethan Warner found Lane Russell for a 68-yard scoring strike with 2:12 left in the third, but the Barons got the points right back when Grant Owens hit Andre Ash for a six-yard score with 10:22 to play in the game.
“Grant was just 6-for-19, but he was under pressure the whole night and made the throws he needed to make … like that slant to Ash to give us some breathing room,” Stephens said.
The defense, buoyed by Andy Anthony’s two interceptions, took care of the rest. Anthony now has six picks on the season.
Next up, Buckeye Valley (3-4, 3-1 MOAC) will take on host Harding Friday in Marion.
Olentangy Liberty 35, Westerville South 31
The Patriots shook off a slow start in a big way, using a 21-3 second-half surge to knock off the host Wildcats Friday in Westerville.
After falling behind 28-14 by halftime, Liberty (4-3, 2-0 OCC) quarterback Mitchell Okuley started the rally with a four-yard TD run with 8:03 left in the third quarter.
South’s Matthew Bame made it 31-21 with a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth, but a pair of late touchdowns helped Liberty complete the comeback.
Okuley, who also had a rushing touchdown in the first half, scored his third of the game, again from four yards out, to make it 31-28 with 6:19 left. The Patriots scored again about two minutes later, when Okuley found Jake Sincek for a 43-yard TD connection to smooth out the scoring summary.
Big Walnut 24, Franklin Heights 0
Jagger Barnett threw for more than 200 yards and accounted for a pair of touchdowns to lead the Golden Eagles to a convincing OCC win over the host Falcons Friday in Columbus.
After Tyler Crotinger punched one into the end zone from a yard out to make it 7-0 in the first, Barnett doubled the Eagles’ edge with a one-yard TD run of his own in the second.
A 43-yard scoring strike from Barnett to Nathan Montgomery ballooned the Big Walnut (3-4, 2-0 OCC) advantage to 21-0 in the third and Caleb Meade added a 43-yard field goal to smooth out the scoring summary in the fourth.
Hilliard Bradley 48, Olentangy Berlin 20
The Bears did some good things in the second half, but they weren’t nearly enough to help them claw out of a 41-0 halftime hole against the Jaguars Friday in Hilliard.
Bradley, up just 7-0 after a quarter, erupted for 34 second-quarter points to all but seal the deal.
Berlin (1-6, 0-4 OCC) quarterback Jacob Moeller, who completed 16 of his 22 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns, got into a bit of a groove in the second half. Jalen Weitzel was his top target, finishing with 122 yards on seven grabs, one of which went for a touchdown.
Corey Hill also had handful of big plays for the Bears, including a fourth-quarter touchdown on a fumble recovery.