Ethan Grunkenmeyer hit Jackson Wiley for a 61-yard touchdown late in the first half, making it a three-point game at the break, but visiting Hilliard Darby outscored Olentangy 20-7 in the second half on the way to a 40-21 OCC win Friday night in Lewis Center.
The long Grunkenmeyer-to-Wiley connection answered a bomb by the Panthers (5-3, 1-2), who took a 17-7 lead when Blake Horvath hit Matthew Sech in stride for a 58-yard score with 2:07 left in the half.
Grunkenmeyer, who completed 19 of his 24 passes for 221 yards and three TDs, hit Mike Parsio for a 38-yard score late in the third quarter, but the then 27-21 spread was as close as things would get the rest of the way.
Horvath answered with a 72-yard touchdown run on the ensuing drive to all but seal the deal.
Darby’s Javi Quimba put the finishing touches on the win with a 45-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
Malik Wade led the Braves (3-5, 1-2) on the ground with 92 yards while Bryce Bendick had touchdown in the setback.
Buckeye Valley 43, John Adams 26
The Barons raced out to a 22-0 lead and never looked back on the way to a convincing non-league win Friday night in Delaware.
Buckeye Valley (5-3) broke the scoring seal when Zane Lucas powered into the end zone from two yards out with 6:30 left in the first quarter. Jake Smothers converted the ensuing two-point conversion to make it an 8-0 game.
Smothers made it 15-0 with a five-yard TD run in the final minute of the first before Landon Froehlich hauled in a 10-yard touchdown grab midway through the second.
John Adams (2-4) got on the board when Marvin Lewis returned an interception to the house with 1:26 left in the second, but BV ballooned its lead a bit more when Alex Contreras scored from three yards out on the final play of the half.
Gabe Gregg and Lucas had touchdown runs in the second half to help the Barons secure the win.
Hilliard Bradley 14, Olentangy Liberty 3
The Patriots (4-4, 1-2) played pretty well on the defensive end, allowing right around 200 yards of total offense, but the host Jaguars did just enough to get the job done en route to an OCC win Friday night in Hilliard.
Bradley (4-4, 2-1) scored all the points it would need when Bradyn Fleharty hit Tayshaun Mayfield for a 12-yard TD with 10:42 left in the second quarter.
The Jags added a little insurance when Caden VanVorhis scored from two yards out early in the fourth.
A 21-yard field goal off the foot of Connor Ingram accounted for the Patriots’ (4-4, 1-2) points.
Olentangy Berlin 22, Dublin Jerome 21
Preston Everhart’s second score of the game gave the Celtics a 21-10 lead with 6:19 left in the third quarter, but a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns lifted the host Bears to a thrilling come-from-behind win Friday night in Delaware.
Gavin Angell started the comeback, capping a solid drive with a two-yard TD run. The two-point try was no good, making it a 21-16 game with 6:13 to play.
On Berlin’s (7-1, 3-0) ensuing drive, with the clock winding down, Harrison Brewster scored from four yards out to complete the comeback. The two-point try was again no good, but it didn’t matter as the Bears held on for the one-point win.
Brewster completed 13 of his 17 passes for 131 yards while rushing for another 57 yards and a score in the win. Colin Pethel was his leading receiver with eight grabs for 83 yards.
Luke McLoughlin had a game-best 116 yards and a score on the ground for the Celtics (5-3, 1-2).
Big Walnut 42, Westerville North 7
Nate Severs and the rest of the Golden Eagles (8-0, 5-0) continue to soar, most recently rolling past the visiting Warriors Friday night in Sunbury.
Severs finished with five touchdowns to account for the first 35 points of the game. He had four in the first half alone, including a 53-yard TD run to make it a 7-0 game with 10:41 left in the first quarter.
He scored from seven yards out later in the first, six yards out early in the second and again, this time via a 44-yard reception on a well-timed ball from quarterback Jake Nier with just under five minutes to play in the half.
BW made it 42-0 before North (3-5, 1-3) finally got on the board when Chris Campbell scored on a five-yard run with less than two minutes left in the game.
Dublin Scioto 38, Delaware Hayes 0
Amare Jenkins threw for 230 yards and four touchdowns as the Irish (6-2, 4-1) blanked the visiting Pacers (2-6, 0-5) Friday night in Dublin.
Scioto started fast and never looked back, scoring 17 first-quarter points before adding another 14 in the second.
Tysen Boze was Jenkins’ top target, finishing with four receptions for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Austin Dowell led Hayes, completing eight of his 19 passes for 57 yards. Kaden Gannon had three grabs for 45 yards while Elijah Burton finished with seven carries for 29 yards on the ground.
Also: Upper Arlington 35, Olentangy Orange 10.