By Michael Rich
The final was a microcosm of the game. Out of nowhere, Big Walnut’s Chase Geddis fired a lead pass to Tim Rumas, who got behind the Delaware Hayes back line and scored 3:23 into the overtime period to finish off a three-goal comeback … which also came out of nowhere.
Rumas scored twice in the game, including the goal that started the rally, to give Big Walnut a 4-3 Division I sectional semifinal win over Delaware Hayes Wednesday night at Gauthier Stadium.
“I didn’t expect to score it,” Rumas said about the game-winner. “I saw the defender coming behind me and I took the shot. I just hoped it would go in and it did.”
“I really don’t know (what happened),” Pacers coach Joshua Diehl said. “I thought we played excellent to our expectations in the beginning and then there was a huge momentum change and we really had trouble getting out of it tonight.”
Two goals by Brandon Becker sandwiched around a Justin McKee goal gave the Pacers (8-6-2) a 3-0 lead just over 19 minutes into the game.
“It (3-0 deficit) was not the most unexpected thing with such a young team with not a lot of tournament experience,” BW coach Tyler DeLorenzo said. “Down 3-0, the hope was to get to the half 3-0. We didn’t want it to become 4-0 or 5-0.”
But things were not as they seemed. Rumas scored off a rebound that bounced around in front to get the Eagles (10-6-1) on the board with 3:49 left in the half, giving them hope.
“We got our spirits up with the first goal,” he said. “After that we just went uphill.”
“It’s a shot of hope … it’s a shot of energy,” DeLorenzo said. “Coming back from a 3-0 deficit to make it 3-1 and then 3-2, there was just such a passion and a desire to prove that the 3-0 in the first half … that wasn’t us.”
Sam Mason scored on a header off a corner kick by Geddis five and a half minutes into the second half to make it 3-2.
“It was very important to, if not score, put them under pressure early — to make them feel like there was a realistic chance to get back into the game,” DeLorenzo said.
Geddis tied it with 27:14 left in regulation, depositing a tough-angle shot into the back of the net off a free kick just outside the box.
Becker headed in a throw in pass from Curtis Herzog to break the scoreless tie 10:13 into the game.
He scored the Pacers’ third goal when Nathan Lippencott fed him a perfect lead pass on the right side before beating the goalie to the left side with 10:50 left in the half.
McKee scored just over 16 minutes into the game thanks to a lead pass by Evan Burkhart.
The Golden Eagles travel to Olentangy in the second round Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Orange 2, Logan 1
Season-long scoring struggles crept into play a bit, but an own goal and a tally off the foot of Jack Brooks proved to be enough to push the 23rd-seeded Pioneers past visiting Logan in a Division I sectional semifinal Wednesday in Lewis Center.
“We have had trouble scoring, so our patience was really tested tonight,” Orange coach Scott Bryant said. “We just need to put our shots on target and hope some start falling.”
Nick Cutler anchored the Pioneer defense with two saves.
It took Big Walnut a half to get rolling, but it never slowed down once it did as three second-half goals helped it cruise to a 3-0 Division II sectional final win over visiting Liberty Union Wednesday in Sunbury.
Kelly Kreager, Suhaila Bickel and Bailey Bodker scored for the Golden Eagles, who advance to take on second-seeded Bloom-Carroll in Wednesday’s district semifinal.
Also: Buckeye Valley 2, Amanda-Clearcreek 0
Big Walnut def. Marysville 29-27, 21-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-10; Orange def. Marion Harding 25-9, 25-12, 25-15; Liberty def. Lancaster 25-8, 25-16, 24-26, 25-22.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.