The Big Walnut High School football team will be looking to continue its dominance over Delaware Hayes when it plays host to the Pacers on Friday, Sept. 27, in an OCC-Capital Division contest.
The Golden Eagles are 15-1 against Delaware since the two became OCC-Capital rivals in 1997, including a 35-13 win last season. The Pacers' only win came in 2009, 17-10.
"It's an intra-county game and the rivalry is on the line," coach Joe Weaver said. "All Delaware (County) football teams are good. They're going to come out and come after you and you're going to have to play four quarters."
Delaware was 2-1 before opening OCC-Capital play against Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 20.
"Coach (Zebb) Schroeder is doing a heck of a job with them," Weaver said of the Pacers. "They're better and better each year and they're a different team each time you see them."
Big Walnut, meanwhile, headed into its league opener Sept. 20 against Olentangy still looking for its first victory. The Golden Eagles fell to 0-3 with a 34-0 loss to St. Charles on Sept. 13 at Ohio Dominican University.
"Obviously, 0-3 is not the place you want to be," Weaver said. "But we've played some good teams. Some good things happened and some bad things happened and we ended up on the down side of it, but there's still a lot of football left to play and the kids are excited."
St. Charles scored all of its points, which came on five touchdowns, in the first quarter. The Cardinals scored twice on special teams, returning a pair of blocked punts 7 and 13 yards for scores.
"Once the kids got settled in a little bit, we played ball," Weaver said.
Big Walnut's offense was limited to 180 total yards by St. Charles. Quarterback Jordan Wall completed 13 of 24 passes for 98 yards and one interception, with wide receiver Chase LaVeer catching four passes for 38 yards. Running back Christian Johnson rushed for 63 yards on 18 carries.
The Cardinals amassed 352 total yards, gaining 179 on the ground and 173 through the air. Linebacker Chris Thomas had seven solo tackles and linebacker Austin Crow had six to lead the Golden Eagles' defense, and defensive backs Isaac Lucas and Blake Marioth each had an interception.
"It's a hard thing to swallow, the start (to the season) that we've had," Weaver said. "But it hasn't altered the kids' pride. It hasn't altered their work ethic. They come out and they stay competitive. We told them that it's times like this when you circle the wagons and tighten up, and they've been doing that."
Volleyball team stays in league title hunt
The girls volleyball team was 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Capital after losing to Olentangy 26-24, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19 on Sept. 19.
"I'm pretty pleased with where we are right now," coach Ron Lehman said. "We're making good progress."
Big Walnut defeated Franklin Heights 25-11, 25-7, 25-11 on Sept. 17 to conclude the first round of OCC-Capital play. Entering play Sept. 19, the Golden Eagles were tied with Kilbourne for third behind co-leaders New Albany and Olentangy, both of which went 6-1 in the first round.
Big Walnut lost to Olentangy 25-19, 25-15, 14-25, 25-21 on Aug. 27 and fell to New Albany 25-11, 25-18, 25-18 on Sept. 10.
"At this point, we can control our own destiny if we keep winning," Lehman said. "But it's not going to be easy. We have to go to Kilbourne and they're tough. We have to go to New Albany and they're obviously a very good team. (Winning the league) is still a possibility, but we'll have to work at it."
Through 11 matches, middle hitter Kaylynn Bowmar led the Golden Eagles with 69 kills, outside hitter Claire Chatterton was second on the team in kills (67) and first in aces (23), setter Morgan Alley was second in both assists (116) and digs (87), Abby Kitchen led the team in assists (147) and Rachel O'Morrow was first in digs (110).
Runners fare well in Newark meet
The boys cross country team scored 138 points to finish fourth of 13 teams in the Newark Invitational on Sept. 14, behind Newark (65), Canal Winchester (77) and Mount Vernon (102).
Junior Jonathan Kahrmann led the Golden Eagles, placing ninth in 17 minutes, 34.7 seconds. Also competing were senior Logan Perry (24th, 18:40.3), senior Jacob Oppenheimer (26th, 18:46.7), junior Jared Boseker (40th, 19:25.1) and sophomore Michael McGowan (41st, 19:25.1).
The girls team finished third (134) in the 13-team Newark Invitational, behind Canal Winchester (42) and Newark (70).
Junior Makenna Hemming paced the Golden Eagles, finishing 12th (21.03.7). Junior Mikaela Smith was next (23rd, 21:37.5), followed by senior Olivia Daggett (25th, 21:43.3), junior Addison Shawver (30th, 22:03.2) and sophomore Rachel Brown (46th, 22:51.5).
Golf team places 4th in league tourney
The boys golf team shot a 337 in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Capital tournament Sept. 18 at Granville Golf Course to finish fourth, behind New Albany (315), Mount Vernon (323) and Olentangy (328) and ahead of Delaware (341), Kibourne (342), Olentangy Orange (346) and Franklin Heights (556).
Junior Kyle Gose led the Golden Eagles with an 80. Also scoring were juniors Chad Little (82) and Kyle Bash (83) and sophomore Jake Wilson (92).
Big Walnut finished fourth (14-14) in the final OCC-Capital standings, behind New Albany (27-1), Olentangy (24-4) and Mount Vernon (19-9) and ahead of Orange (13-15), Kilbourne (8-20), Delaware (7-21) and Franklin Heights (0-28).
Gose averaged a 78 over four rounds to tie Mount Vernon's Robert Williams for sixth and earn second-team all-league honors. Bash averaged an 83 to make honorable mention all-league.
Big Walnut will spend this week preparing for the 13-team Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Darby Creek. The Golden Eagles are seeded 18th of 39 teams. Among the other teams competing at the site will be third-seeded Dublin Coffman, fourth-seeded New Albany and ninth-seeded Olentangy Liberty.