The Big Walnut football team continued its impressive play on both sides of the ball en route to a dominant 42-7 win over Westerville North on Friday night in Sunbury.
The sixth-ranked Golden Eagles move to 8-0 and are seemingly getting better every week. They have yet to be tested in a close game because they are blowing everyone out. Worthington Kilbourne gave them their toughest test of the season so far last week, and they won that one 56-28 after scoring four touchdowns to pull away late in the fourth quarter.
“Last week was not our typical performance on defense,” Big Walnut coach Rob Page said. “I’m proud of how we swarmed the football and how our defense went after it tonight.”
BW didn’t do much on its first couple plays, then sophomore running back Nate Severs sprinted out of the backfield up the right sideline for a 53-yard touchdown with 10:41 left in the first quarter, which set the tone.
“You go in with a certain play and you go with it if you like the look,” Page said. “When our line is blocking like that and displacing people, it’s never a bad idea to give Severs the ball.”
Westerville North running back Chris Campbell took a carry on his team’s first drive for over 40 yards and looked like he might score, but Big Walnut’s Garrett Stover was able to chase him down and strip the ball out for his teammates to recover inside their own 10.
On its second drive of the game, Big Walnut got hit with a few penalties, including a holding that wiped away a 40-yard Severs rushing TD. But, sophomore quarterback Jake Nier was able to use his legs to scramble for multiple first downs to keep the drive going even after the sloppy play. Severs took over once BW got to the red zone and punched in a 7-yard carry for his second score of the game, ballooning the lead to 14-0 with 52 seconds left in the first quarter.
“I don’t like the penalties we had tonight,” Page said. “We’ll have to take a look at the film on that.”
Westerville North looked like it had something going on its next drive, but the progress after crossing midfield ended when Big Walnut junior Nicky Pentello intercepted a Wyatt Buxton pass and took it 50-yards to the opposing team’s 20. Severs took it in from six yards out to expand the Golden Eagle lead to 21-0 with 9:41 left in the half. The run gave him his third TD of the first half and pushed him over 100 rushing yards.
After that, Big Walnut forced another Warrior punt and wasted no time putting more points on the board.
Severs scored again, this time on a 44-yard wheel route, his first receiving TD and his fourth score of the day. Nier smartly waited for the play to develop and found his read on a nice strike. Severs made a cut to avoid a defender and waltzed in to make it a 28-point game with just under five minutes left in the half.
On the first play of the Eagles’ first drive of the second half, Severs took a handoff for 25 yards. He then broke several tackles and took the ball 49 yards to the house for his fifth touchdown of the night. That put Big Walnut up 35-0 with nine minutes left in the third quarter and put the running clock into effect.
On the ensuing kickoff, Big Walnut senior Lucas Tindall recovered a fumble at the Warrior 20 and ran it in to make it a 42-0 game with 8:30 left in the third quarter.
Westerville North finally got on the scoreboard with 1:54 left in the game on a 5-yard carry by Campbell.
The Golden Eagles will host Dublin Scioto next week. The Irish are 6-2, with their only losses coming to Olentangy Berlin and Westerville South. Scioto also knocked BW out of the playoffs last season, so they will surely be motivated in what will be a revenge game.
“It’s a blessing to play eight games, some teams in the state haven’t gotten to do that,” Page said. “I love how this team responds. The ultimate goal is to teach this team how to be men.”