LEWIS CENTER – The Olentangy Orange football team used a stout defense and a balanced attack on offense to beat rival Olentangy for the third time in four years.
Sam Wyne caught four of his five passes, including a touchdown, on two possessions in the third quarter to help the Pioneers win at Olentangy 28-14 in OCC-Buckeye play Friday night.
Wyne caught three passes for 48 yards to set up Jake Vanchieri’s 20-yard touchdown run to give the Pioneers a 21-7 lead with 2:08 left in the third.
“We put in so much work in the offseason running routes on air,” Quarterback Spencer Hawkins said. “It’s been paying off this year.”
Caden Konczak returned a punt 19 yards to Olentangy’s 30 after a three-and-out. He was hit late out of bounds to move the Pioneers 15 yards closer.
Then, Hawkins found Wyne open over the middle on the drive’s first play to extend Orange’s lead to 28-7 with 28 seconds left in the quarter.
“The tight end pulled the safety out and I just patiently waited,” Wyne said. “I cut across the middle of the field where I saw an opening and it worked out.”
Meanwhile, the Pioneer defense forced two turnovers and held Olentangy to 189 yards of total offense.
“We just prepared like crazy,” Orange coach Zebb Schroeder said. “It starts with our defensive coaching staff – coach (Matthew) Berndt, coach (Justin) Malivuk, coach (Jesse) Tierney. They put in an inordinate amount of time last weekend because this is an elite offense. Then, it’s our kids executing the game plan.”
Orange turned one of those turnovers into the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. Joey Guagenti ran under a Trent Maddox deep ball and Luke Applegate capped the ensuing 13-play, 79-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Vanchieri led the Pioneers (6-1, 2-0) with 105 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown and Hawkins ran for a score and threw for another. He finished 12 of 19 passing for 113 yards and added 37 yards on eight carries. Wyne finished with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Both quarterbacks exchanged touchdown runs to even the score before that. Hawkins scored on a 6-yard run on a fourth-and-inches play to give Orange a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter and Maddox scored from 2 yards out for Olentangy early in the second.
Maddox and Olentangy tried another deep ball before the half, but Orange’s Evan Leist won the tip drill and made a diving interception.
Maddox went 10-for-18 for 81 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions through the air and added 55 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries on the ground to lead Olentangy (4-3, 1-1) on offense and Josiah Seymour had 10.5 tackles to lead the defense.
“I think the better team won tonight,” Olentangy coach Mark Solis said. “They were more physical than we were. We made too many mistakes. We didn’t play well – we got out-played and out-coached. My hat’s off to them.”
Both teams continue league play next week. Olentangy hosts rival Olentangy Liberty while Orange returns home to play Westerville Central. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.