Jacob Moeller threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns, all to Bennett Lawrence, and Nick Tiberio ran for 124 yards and another two scores as the Olentangy Berlin football team outlasted visiting Hilliard Darby 48-41 in OCC-Cardinal action Friday night in Delaware.
The Panthers (1-2, 1-1) landed the first blow, taking a 7-0 lead when Blake Horvath scored on a 66-yard run with 7:15 left in the first quarter. It was a sign of things to come as Horvath finished with 296 yards and five TDs on the ground.
The Bears (1-2, 1-1) answered immediately, though, getting back to even as Moeller found Lawrence for a 74-yard score less than 30 seconds later.
After Darby regained the lead with a 42-yard field goal, Berlin took its first lead of the night with another lightning-fast answer as Tiberio took the ensuing kickoff 81 yards to the house to make it a 14-10 game with 1:19 left in the quarter.
The Panthers kept the see-saw theme going with a three-yard TD run by Horvath midway through the second quarter before a three-yard run by Tiberio — a play set up by a 42-yard strike from Moeller to Ryan Horstman — put the Bears up 20-16 with 4:20 left in the half.
Darby scored again — again on a long run by Horvath (60 yards) — but Berlin again had an answer, this time in the form of a 29-yard scoring strike from Moeller to Lawrence with 41 seconds to go in the quarter.
A Panther field goal made it a 27-25 game at the break.
Justin Rader returned an interception to the house on the second play of the third quarter to balloon the Berlin edge to 34-25 and, after the defense forced a three-and-out, Tiberio outran the Darby defense for a 57-yard TD to give Berlin a 41-25 lead with 8:35 left in the third.
Horvath scored a pair of touchdowns to even things up by the early stages of the fourth quarter, but, after the teams traded a few empty possessions, Moeller found Lawrence for what proved to be the game-winning score — a 14-yarder with 6:38 left.
Buckeye Valley 31, Bexley 26
The Barons started fast and held on late en route to picking up their first win of the season —a key league win the road — Friday night in Bexley.
Felipe Scharff connected on a 23-yard field goal to cap the first drive of the game, accounting for the only points of the first quarter, and BV (1-2, 1-2) made it 10-0 when Anthony Hughes found Andre Ash for a 12-yard score with 11:54 left in the second quarter.
It was a back-and-fourth contest from that point on as the teams traded scores the rest of the way. Grant Sheridan got the Lions on the board with a TD run less than a minute later and Hughes hooked up with Jake Smothers for a 41-yard score a couple minutes before halftime.
Again, Bexley (0-2, 0-2) was quick to answer, cutting its deficit to 17-14 when Will Cordle powered into the end zone from a yard out with 2:11 left in the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Hughes found Alex Contreras from 10 yards out to balloon the Baron edge to 24-14 with 11:54 to play in the game and, after another Bexley answer, BV all but sealed the deal when Ash scored on a four-yard run with five minutes left.
Sheridan found the end zone from two yards out with less than two minutes to go, but the Barons held on.
Olentangy Liberty 21, Upper Arlington 14
Aidan Kenley had a big night, rushing for 165 yards and all three of his team’s touchdowns as the Patriots handled the host Golden Bears in OCC-Central action Friday night in Upper Arlington.
His first TD, a 38-yarder, made it 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.
UA’s James Hayek found Sam Cannon for a 32-yard score two minutes later and Carsen Gresock made it 14-7 Bears on a 75-yard run early in the second, but Kenley and company took over from there.
He scored from four yards out to even things up with 2:08 left in the first half and put Liberty (2-1, 1-1) up for good with a three-yard scamper midway through the third quarter.
Olentangy 43, Thomas Worthington 7
The Braves scored the first 22 points of the game and never looked back on the way to a lopsided OCC-Cardinal win over the host Cardinals Friday night.
Olentangy (3-0, 2-0) quarterback Kaden Doup hooked up with Landon Johnson on a 48-yard pitch and catch to break the scoring seal less than two minutes into the game.
Caleb Gossett returned an interception to the house and Doup ran for a successful two-point conversion late in the first before Johnson made it 22-0 with a 21-yard run with 9:59 left in the second.
Jace Middleton ran for a nine-yard score just before halftime, making it 29-7 at the break, Johnson scored from three yards out midway through the third and Daniel Kelly smoothed out the scoring summary with a pick-six with 3:53 left in the third.
Doup completed nine of his 14 passes for 163 yards, Johnson had three grabs for 74 yards and a score to go with his two rushing touchdowns and Malik Wade led Olentangy on the ground with 59 yards rushing.
Worthington Kilbourne 31, Delaware Hayes 17
The Pacers scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a three-point lead into halftime, but the host Wolves outscored them 17-0 in the second half to notch an OCC win Friday night in Worthington.
After falling behind 14-0, Jared McKeen got Hayes (0-3) on the board with a 38-yard field goal at the 10:46 mark of the second quarter.
Ty Gillman scored on a 14-yard run to get the Pacers within four 2:52 before the break and Elijah Burton gave them a 17-14 lead with a four-yard TD run on their next possession.
Kilbourne got back to even with a 22-yard field goal by Musab Erciyas midway through the third, though, and sealed the deal with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Hayes QB Austin Dowell completed 13 of his 27 passes for 86 yards, Armon Weaver had seven grabs for 65 yards and Gillman ran for a team-best 85 yards in the setback.
Mitchell Tomasek, meanwhile, had a nice night for the Wolves, completing 17 of his 28 passes for 275 yards and three TDs.
Also: Big Walnut 35, Franklin Heights 6