Turnovers hurt … especially when they lead to touchdowns at the other end.
Ninth-seeded Big Walnut had four of them in the first half and eighth-seeded Dublin Scioto made sure they were costly, turning three into touchdowns en route to a 31-13 Division II, Region 7 playoff win Friday night in Dublin.
The first one proved to be a killer as it flipped what was an early Golden Eagle advantage into a deficit they never recovered from.
Up 6-3 after a strong opening drive capped by a four-yard TD run by Caden Williams, BW’s second series didn’t end nearly as well as quarterback Jagger Barnett’s pass was intercepted by Cameron Jackson and returned for a touchdown to totally flip the momentum.
Big Walnut never got it back.
The Eagles marched all the way to the Irish nine-yard line on their ensuing series, but a fumble at the four wiped out what was a promising 13-play drive.
Scioto used a dominant second quarter to balloon its lead to 24-6 by the break. Ed Worthen powered into the end zone for a pair of one-yard TD runs to extend his team’s lead, both set up by interceptions.
Williams’ second TD of the game — a 25-yarder late in the third quarter — made it a 24-13 game, but that’s as close as it would get.
Worthen smoothed out the scoring summary with a 12-yard touchdown with 7:16 left.
Williams was the offense for Big Walnut, finishing with 36 carries for 217 yards to go with his touchdowns. Worthen, meanwhile, finished with 25 carries for 152 yards and the three TDs to lead the Irish, who advance to take on top-seeded Massillon Perry in Friday’s third round.
Olentangy 47, Licking Heights 0
The fourth-seeded Braves made a statement in their postseason opener, starting fast on the way to a lopsided Division II, Region 7 playoff win over the visiting and 13th-seeded Hornets Friday night in Lewis Center.
Quarterback Kaden Doup broke the scoring seal with a long TD run and, after Jordan Wilkerson recovered a fumble forced by Ethan Hand, used his arm to make it 12-0 with a touchdown strike to Jace Middleton.
After the Olentangy defense forced a three and out on the ensuing Licking Heights possession, Malik Wade took a handoff and sprinted 40-plus yards to the house to make it 19-0.
Mike Parsio also scored a first-quarter touchdown, ballooning the lead to 26-0, before Doup hit Dan Kelly for a second-quarter score and Hand powered in from two yards out to make it 40-0 by halftime.
Dubby Agudosi’s second-half touchdown smoothed out the scoring summary for Olentangy, which will host 12th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in Friday’s third round.
Olentangy Berlin 48, Wooster 40
The Bears enjoyed winning their first playoff game in school history so much last week, they did it again this week, holding off the host Generals in the second round of the Division II, Region 7 playoffs Friday night in Wooster.
Jacob Moeller threw the ball 38 times, completing 23 of his passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Aidan Loeffler was his top target, finishing with seven grabs for 130 yards and a TD while Nick Tiberio led Berlin on the ground with 19 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown of his own.
The 11th-seeded Bears led 20-0 after the first quarter. Tiberio scored from six yards out, Moeller rushed for a two-yard score and Justin Rader hit a couple field goals, one from 22 yards out and the other from 25.
They led 27-3 at halftime as Moeller found Loeffler from 18 yards out for the only touchdown of the second quarter by either team, but the sixth-seeded Generals found their footing a bit in the second half to make a game of things.
They outscored Berlin 19-14 in the third quarter and 15-7 in the fourth, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Owen Roach completed 21 of his 44 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns to lead Wooster.
Next up, Berlin will take on third-seeded Westerville South in Friday’s third round.
Mount Vernon 20, Delaware Hayes 14
Logan Eubanks scored on a nine-yard run with 2:09 left in the second quarter, giving the Pacers a 7-6 lead at halftime, but the visiting Yellow Jackets rallied in the second half to notch a non-league win Friday night in Delaware.
Austin Dowell’s 19-yard TD run made it 14-6 with 7:01 left in the third, but Mount Vernon scored the final 14 points of the game to escape with the win.
Joel Hubbard powered into the end zone from a yard out with 6:05 to play to seal the deal.