By Ben Stroup
Orange took half a season’s worth of frustration out on visiting Mount Vernon Friday in Lewis Center, parlaying a 28-0 halftime lead into a decisive 35-0 OCC-Capital Division win on Homecoming.
After coming up short in each of their first five games of the season, the Pioneers (1-5, 1-2 OCC) finally put it all together. The offense had next to no problem scoring (and didn’t commit a single turnover) while the defense allowed the Yellow Jackets (3-3, 0-3 OCC) to rack up just 187 total yards en route to pitching the shutout.
Orange quarterback J.D. Dayhuff connected with Hunter Shepherd for a 57-yard scoring strike to break the scoring seal midway through the first quarter, then hit Michael Sargent for a 10-yard TD to make it a 14-0 game with 38 seconds left in the first quarter.
A two-yard touchdown run from Tyler Lichter ballooned the edge to 21-0 early in the second, Dayhuff and Shepherd hooked up for another score, this time from 33 yards out just before the half, and Lichter struck again with a 39-yard TD run to cap the Pioneers’ first drive of the second half.
Dayhuff was in control from start to finish, completing eight of his 11 passes for 161 yards and three scores. Lichter led the ground attack with 150 yards on 18 carries while Shepherd finished with two grabs for 90 yards and the two TDs.
Blake Skuratowicz anchored the defense with a game-high eight tackles to go with a sac.
Liberty 7, Marysville 0
An eight-yard TD pass from Alex Lando to Drew Rosi late in the first proved to be the Patriots’ lone trip to the end zone, but the defense made sure it was enough to get the job done as Liberty notched a 7-0 OCC-Central Division win Friday in Marysville.
The Patriot (5-1, 2-1 OCC) D was dominant as the Monarchs (1-5, 0-3 OCC) mustered just 112 yards of total offense (82 passing and 30 rushing).
As for the Liberty offense, Lando completed 12 of his 23 passes for 132 yards and the touchdown. He was also the team’s leading rusher as his 13 carries covered 97 yards.
Johnny Wiseman was his top target, making four grabs for 70 yards in the win.
New Albany 38, Hayes 14
Deven Ward broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown run early in the second, and Ethan Tucky scored from 61 yards out to pull the Pacers within one score a little before the break, but the host Eagles scored the game’s next 17 points on the way to a 38-14 OCC-Capital Division win Friday in New Albany.
Hayes (2-4, 0-3 OCC) ran 25 more plays than New Albany (4-2, 3-0 OCC), but couldn’t stop what was a balanced Eagle attack.
Tucky had a nice game, finishing with a season-high 138 yards rushing to go with his TD.
Olentangy 45, Franklin Heights 14
The Braves found themselves down 7-6 after an even first quarter … and weren’t at all happy about it.
The second quarter, though, a period which featured 25 unanswered points, gave Olentangy (5-1, 3-0 OCC) a 31-7 halftime lead it turned into a 45-14 OCC-Capital Division win over the visiting Falcons (3-3, 1-2 OCC) Friday in Lewis Center.
Deeb Haber scored on a scramble from 20 yards out to give the Braves their first points, then hooked up with Jake O’Donnell for a pair of quick TDs to make it 21-7 midway through the second. They only added to the lead from there.
Worthington Kilbourne 23, Big Walnut 16
The Big Walnut defense opened the scoring with a safety and Evan Garcia made it a 9-6 game with a seven-yard TD run late in the first, but visiting Kilbourne put up three unanswered scores to earn a tough 23-16 league win Friday night in Sunbury.
The Wolves’ Josh Stoner answered the safety with a 60-yard touchdown run, giving his team a 6-2 first-quarter lead.
After Garcia helped BW (2-4, 1-2 OCC) regain the lead, Isaiah Young put Worthington Kilbourne (6-0, 3-0 OCC) back on top with a 56-yard TD run.
The Wolves added to their cushion when Stoner booted a 26-yard field goal, then made it 24-9 when Nick Hill returned an interception for a touchdown early in the fourth.
The Golden Eagles’ Cole Weaver pulled his team within a score with a 30-yard run late in the fourth, but BW couldn’t get any closer than the final seven-point spread.
Big Walnut gave undefeated Kilboure all it could handle, playing virtually even except for the pick six, which turned out to be the difference.
Both teams had their way on the ground. The Eagles rushed for 199 yards while the Wolves, boosted by Young’s 163-yard performance, ran for 205.
Passing was a different story as the two quarterbacks combined for just three completions all game long.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.