J.D. Dayhuff scored on a 9-yard run to bring Orange within three, 10-7 late in the third quarter, but host Westerville Central outscored the Pioneers 21-7 in the fourth to cruise to a 31-14 OCC-Buckeye Division win Friday night.
Orange had an answer when Allen Smith scored on a 3-yard run to put the Warhawks up 17-7 with 8:11 left in the game, closing the gap when Dayhuff hit Zach Harrison for a 14-yard scoring strike less than two minutes later.
When Smith ran into the end zone from nine yards out to make it a 24-14 game with 3:24 left, though, the Pioneers (5-3, 2-1) couldn’t punch back.
Smith capped the scoring with his fourth TD of the game — a 30-yard run with 1:18 left. Smith finished with 267 yards on 22 carries.
The Warhawks (3-5, 2-1) piled up 380 yards of total offense, 309 of which came on the ground. The Pioneers, meanwhile, finished with 226 yards of offense.
Dayhuff completed 14 of his 31 passes for 117 yards. He had the touchdown pass, but threw three interceptions. Zach Pfeiffer led the ground game with 44 yards on five carries.
Orange will look to get back on track when it travels to Powell to take on Liberty Friday at 7:30 p.m.
River Valley 42, Buckeye Valley 12
The Barons and visiting Vikings both had plenty to be excited about after producing points on their opening drives.
River Valley (5-3) got the ball first, using a run-heavy drive to go up 7-0 in the game’s opening minutes. Buckeye Valley (3-5), showing off its aerial attack with solid strikes to Chris Santillan and Joey Verdes, answered in a hurry, finding the end zone when quarterback Ben Spaulding found Trent Davies out of the backfield for a short touchdown pass minutes later.
The Vikings blocked the ensuing point-after attempt, though, and the Barons never really got going again.
Next up, Buckeye Valley will take on host Marion Harding Friday at 7 p.m.
Also: New Albany 34, Big Walnut 0.