What a difference a week makes.
Seven days after dropping the opener — turning the ball over three times on offense and allowing 31 points on defense and still nearly coming up with the win — the Olentangy Berlin football team bounced back in a big way, blanking visiting Olentangy Orange 17-0 Friday night in Delaware.
The Bears (1-1) were efficient on offense, racking up 261 yards without a turnover. They were just as good on the other side of the ball, too, giving up just 154 yards to the Pioneers’ (1-1) high-powered attack while keeping them off the scoreboard.
Defense was the name of the game early as the teams traded possessions on the way to a scoreless first quarter. Berlin’s Aiden Eviston recovered a fumble at the 33-yard line, but a sack by the Pioneers’ Justin Murray ended the Bears’ ensuing drive.
Berlin’s Austin Lambert returned the favor, sacking Orange quarterback Michael Clouse on the first play of the Pioneers’ next drive and, when the Bears regained possession a few plays later, they made the most of their opportunity.
Quarterback Harrison Brewster hit Aaron Nebraska to convert a third-and-eight, then scampered 28 yards all the way to the Orange five-yard line. He called his own number on each of the next three plays, too, pushing the ball to the two-yard line on his first, the one-yard line on the second and into the end zone for a one-yard score on the third.
Spencer Conrad added the point-after attempt to make it a 7-0 game with 7:50 left in the second quarter.
Conrad ballooned the lead to 10-0 with a booming 49-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Orange backup quarterback Levi Davis started the second half, moving the ball into Berlin territory with completions to Drew Dunham and Kobe Sharpe, but the drive stalled as the Bears forced a turnover on downs with the Pioneers a few yards outside of the red zone — a place they didn’t get to much.
The Bears’ defense had a lot to do with that, allowing just 154 yards of total offense and only 11 first downs while forcing a pair of turnovers.
Kyle Jackowski put the finishing touches on the win with a 10-yard TD run with 5:07 left in the game.
Brewster completed eight of his 16 passes for 70 yards while rushing for a team-high 90 yards to go with a touchdown. Mason Ziegler added 62 yards on the ground while Nebraska was the top target through the air, finishing with five grabs for 53 yards.
Davis completed eight of his 15 throws for 75 yards while J.J. Calip led Orange on the ground with 25 yards on eight attempts.
Delaware Hayes 17, St. Charles 0
The Pacers finished with a flourish, scoring a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to put the finishing touches on a non-league win over the visiting Cardinals Friday night in Delaware.
Hayes (2-0) never trailed, taking a 3-0 lead with a Cooper Goble field goal in the second quarter. Things stayed tight until the fourth, when Jake Lowman hit Austin Koslow for a 40-yard TD strike to make it a two-score game. Sawyer Sand put the exclamation point on the win shortly after, scoring from four yards out to seal the deal.
Lowman completed 13 of his 24 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Josh Russell led the charge on the ground, finishing with 69 yards on 13 carries, while Koslow had two grabs for 46 yards and the score.
Big Walnut 42, Zanesville 7
The Golden Eagles (2-0) scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, turning an early 7-0 lead into a 28-0 edge by the break before cruising to a non-league win over the host Blue Devils Friday night in Zanesville.
After quarterback Jake Nier plowed into the end zone from five yards out early in the first quarter, Nate Severs scored two straight in the second — the first from two yards out and the second from six — to push the lead to 21-0.
Nier found Grant Coulson for a 38-yard TD with 48 seconds left in the first half to smooth out the first-half scoring.
Nier completed seven of his 10 passes for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns when all was said and done. Coulson had both of them, finishing with three grabs for 152 yards and the two scores.
Severs, meanwhile, ran for 68 yards and three TDs.
Also: Jonathan Alder 21, Buckeye Valley 7; Olentangy 34, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin 28, OT.