The Big Walnut High School football team picked up where it left off last season by trouncing Westerville Central 31-2 last Friday in the opener.

The defending Division III state champion Golden Eagles took control early, scoring on their first two possessions, and never looked back.

"I was happy with our overall effort," coach Scott Wetzel said. "We had some kids really step up tonight. The key now is I really believe a football team makes its biggest improvement in week one to week two. Can we work out those kinks of turnovers and jumping offsides and get those things out of our system, and be a better team next week? That's going to be a true test."

Eugene Cannaday, a first-year football player, set the tone as he took the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.

"We shook hands and we were down by seven," Central coach Bob Fresch said.

Big Walnut scored again on its next possession as senior quarterback Jordan DeWitt connected with Nick Heiden in the back corner of the end zone for an 18-yard scoring strike.

The Golden Eagles added to their lead midway through the second quarter when

Patrick Daugherty faked a reverse to Cannaday and ran 79 yards for a score.

Daugherty spearheaded Big Walnut's ground attack, rushing for 151 yards on 15 carries. The Golden Eagles had 384 yards of offense, including 325 on the ground.

Big Walnut capped the first-half scoring when the defense trapped quarterback Brian Hunter in the end zone for a safety.

Despite the deficit, Central's defense limiting the Golden Eagles to one touchdown in the second half. The Warhawks forced three turnovers.

The Warhawks' special teams accounted for the team's lone score when Corey Williams blocked a punt by Tyler Fifer out of the end zone with 8:41 left in the third quarter.

Buddy Carrel capped the scoring for Big Walnut as he dashed 44 yards for a touchdown with 2:31 remaining in the third quarter. Carrel rushed for 91 yards on 11 carries.

"They were disciplined," Fresch said of Big Walnut. "They did all the little things real, real good.

"We have a lot of work to do. I'm not going to make any excuses. I knew going into the season we had a lot of unproven kids that never played on Friday night. We have a lot of work to do. We knew that during the scrimmages. There were some good things that happened, but there are some things that we really have to polish up."

Taqwuan Council was a bright spot for Central, rushing for 92 yards on seven carries.