By Ben Stroup
In a game in which the two teams combined for more than 100 points, an extra point in overtime proved to be the difference as Hayes posted a thrilling 56-55 OCC-Capital Division win over host Franklin Heights Friday in Columbus.
After the Falcons scored on the first play of OT, a 20-yard pass from Dylan Akers to Seth Dawkins, the Pacers blocked the ensuing PAT — a play which turned out to be one of the biggest of the game.
A nine-yard TD run by Ethan Tucky on the Pacers’ first series of the extra session evened things at 55, and all that stood between them and a win was the point after — a kick Noah Watts calmly knocked through to end it.
Pacer QB Cullen Moore finished 208 yards and five touchdowns … on the ground. Tucky, who had two TDs, finished with 166 yards rushing. Hayes, boosted by its big guys up front — offensive linemen Nathan Wilgus, Glenn Pauley, Mason Davis, Kole Shaw and Josh McSweeney — chewed up 410 yards on the ground.
And the Pacers needed every last one of them.
James Morgan gave Franklin Heights an early 6-0 lead, hauling in a 21-yard pass from Akers, but, as was the case with the last score, the extra point was no good.
Dawkins made it 13-0 with an 85-yard punt return minutes later, but Moore answered with a 57-yard touchdown run to make it 13-7 by the end of the first quarter.
The Falcons went up by as many as 13, taking a 27-14 lead when Dawkins scored on a run from 11 yards out in the second, but Hayes took a 28-27 lead by halftime thanks to a pair of Moore TD runs, the first a 16-yard sprint and the second from 27 yards out.
The teams simply traded touchdowns in the second half. Dawkins made it 34-28 with a 21-yard TD grab, but Moore gave the Pacers the lead right back with a four-yard TD run.
Brenden Knox made it 41-35, but Moore answered again, this time with a five-yard TD run.
A 38-yard touchdown run from Knox, coupled with a successful two-point conversion on a run by Dawkins made it 49-42 Falcons, but Sean Gliebe powered into the end zone from a yard out in the waning moments of regulation to send the game into OT.
Knox finished with 254 rushing yards and three TDs to lead Heights while Dawkins accounted for four TDs in all.
Buckeye Valley 17, Marion Harding 14
Buckeye Valley started fast and finished strong as Tim Schilling powered into the end zone from two yards out with 48 seconds left to help his team rally to a 17-14 MOAC Red Division win over visiting Marion Harding Friday in Delaware.
The Barons looked to be in control early, scoring the first nine points of the game. Chris Santillan scampered into the end zone from 24 yards out midway through the first before Sam Scharff connected on a 39 yard field in the final seconds of the second to give BV a 9-0 lead at the half.
The Presidents battled back with a pair of TDs in the fourth, but Schilling’s score in final minute finished them off for good.
Santillan led the rushing attack with 116 yards on 23 carries while Schilling completed 11 of his 17 passes for 110 yards. Gabe Miller was his top target, making three grabs for 38 yards.
Olentangy 52, Mount Vernon 0
The Braves wrapped up their second straight OCC-Capital Division title in emphatic fashion Friday, drilling the visiting Yellow Jackets 52-0.
Jimmy Elmurr put Olentangy up with a touchdown run early in the first, Obi Anunike and quarterback Deeb Haber connected on a long TD pass, Ali Iverson converted a Seth O’Neal interception into a touchdown with a nice run and Anunike’s second TD of the game ballooned the edge to 28-0 just seconds into the second quarter.
Needless to say, the Braves cruised from there.
Dublin Coffman 17, Liberty 7
Liberty’s Drew Rosi hauled in a 10-yard TD grab to tie things early in the fourth, but Coffman ended the game on a 10-0 run to account for the final margin.
The Shamrocks’ Marcus Ernst hit a 30-yard field goal to break the tie with 4:34 left before Issac McKinney added a 48-yard TD run in the game’s final seconds to cement the win.