The Delaware Hayes football team got a little something going in the third quarter, blocking a field goal and scoring its first touchdown of the game to pull within 21-10 with 5:20 left, but host Olentangy Berlin scored another two touchdowns before the quarter came to a close on the way to a 42-24 win in the first round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs Friday night in Delaware.
Sawyer Sand powered into the end zone from a yard out before Cooper Goble’s extra point got the 12th-seeded Pacers (7-4) as close as they’d been since early in the first quarter. The fifth-seeded Bears (8-3), buoyed by quarterback Harrison Brewster’s monster night on the ground, were just too much in the end, though.
Brewster, who carried the ball 13 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns, capped Berlin’s ensuing drive with a seven-yard touchdown run before scoring on a 27-yard run on the final play of the third quarter to balloon the lead to 35-10 with a quarter to play.
A Mason Ziegler touchdown run, his second of the night, made it a 42-10 game early in the fourth before Hayes answered with a couple touchdowns down the stretch — a 15-yard TD run from Josh Russell at the 4:26 mark and a 30-yard scoring strike from Jake Lowman to Kaden Gannon to smooth out the scoring summary with 33 seconds left.
The Bears set the tone early on both sides of the ball, forcing a Pacers’ three-and-out on the first series of the game before scoring a touchdown their first time with the ball — a drive which started at their own 35.
Brewster got things started with a 35-yard run. Ziegler later pushed the ball to the Hayes 3-yard line with a strong run of his own before powering into the end zone from three yards out on the very next play. Spencer Conrad added the extra point to make it a 7-0 game less than two minutes into the action.
Hayes used a 39-yard strike from Lowman to Austin Koslow to move into Berlin territory on its second possession, but a Kyle Jackowski sack derailed the drive and forced a punt.
The Pacers were able to flip the field as Matt Wilson’s punt sailed out of bounds at the 9-yard line, but it didn’t turn out to matter. Two plays later, Brewster broke free for a 94-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 with 6:09 left in the first quarter.
Hayes got on the board after the teams traded possessions — a 33-yard Goble field goal set up by a 14-yard run by Russell sliced the deficit to 14-3 with less than a minute left in the first quarter — but Berlin added on when Brewster hit Evan Fabrizio for a 10-yard scoring strike and a 21-3 edge with 2:53 left in the half.
Brewster was solid through the air, completing nine of his 18 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown to go with his ridiculous rushing stats, while Joe Beaumier was his top target with four grabs for 70 yards.
Lowman, meanwhile, completed 21 of his 39 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown. Russell ran 14 times for 79 yards and a score and Gannon had a game-best nine receptions for 120 yards and his score.