The Delaware Hayes High School football team had planned to mix some two-back sets into its triple-option offense as the season progressed.
"We wanted to go with a split-back look with Anthony Hinton and Cody Wooten because both are talented runners," coach Zebb Schroeder said. "That would've given our offense a little different look at times."
However, that plan has changed, or at least has been put on hold, as both running backs suffered knee injuries during the Pacers' 23-7 win over Canal Winchester on Sept. 6. Both sat out the Pacers' 41-0 loss to Dublin Jerome on Sept. 13 and neither was expected to play Sept. 20 in the OCC-Capital Division opener against Worthington Kilbourne.
According to Schroeder, Wooten might be back in the lineup when the Pacers travel to Big Walnut on Friday, Sept. 27, for a league contest, but Hinton is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
"That's a tough loss," Schroeder said of Hinton, who injured the same knee last season. "He's a phenomenal athlete who worked so hard to overcome that initial injury. Cody suffered a knee sprain and we're hoping we can get him back in time for the Big Walnut game.
"The rest of our running backs are key defensive players, so we tried some new things against Dublin Jerome."
Delaware's offense managed only one first down in the first half against visiting Jerome.
"Maybe we tried to overcompensate for the injuries of our top two backs," Schroeder said. "We're still trying to adjust without those guys. Maybe we'll stick with the basics and get back to the offense we were running."
The injuries to Hinton and Wooten, however, weren't the sole reason for the Pacers' performance against the Celtics.
"Jerome played lower and tougher," Schroeder said. "I think after playing well and winning the first two games that everyone was telling these guys how good they were and they got an inflated opinion of themselves. We did not play well.
"If we sit around and sulk about it rather than making corrections, we're going to continue to get smacked around. We always talk about three basics in our execution: having great pad level on offense and defense, gaining 4 yards per rush and tackling. The harsh reality is that if we don't get faster off the line of scrimmage and become the aggressor, we could be in for a world of hurt."
Delaware expected a physical game against Kilbourne and expects the same against Big Walnut, which was 0-3 before playing Olentangy on Sept. 20. The Golden Eagles' first four opponents were a combined 11-1 through week three.
Big Walnut managed just 186 total yards in a 34-0 loss to St. Charles on Sept. 13 and only 174 in a 28-7 loss to Mansfield Senior on Aug. 30. The Golden Eagles led Chillicothe 14-0 at halftime but lost 21-14 on Sept. 6.
Two of the touchdowns Big Walnut allowed against St. Charles came on blocked punts.
"I'm not fooled by their record because they played a real difficult schedule," Schroeder said. "Plus, they have some big, physical two-way linemen and great linebackers (Austin Crow and Alec Eisnnicher). Plus, they just have tough kids throughout the roster who have a lot of pride in the program."
Big Walnut is 15-1 against Delaware since the two became OCC-Capital rivals in 1997, including a 35-13 win last year. The Pacers' only win came in 2009, 17-10.
Godfrey earns all-OCC honors in boys golf
Sophomore Grant Godfrey shot a 77 in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Capital tournament Sept. 18 at Granville Golf Course to lead the boys golf team.
Delaware shot a 341 to finish fifth, behind New Albany (315), Mount Vernon (323), Olentangy (328) and Big Walnut (337) and ahead of Kilbourne (342), Olentangy Orange (346) and Franklin Heights (556).
Also competing for the Pacers were Cole Haferman (86), Dan Van Brimmer (88), Cody Ross (92) and Lali Lakotas (93).
Delaware finished 7-21 in the final OCC-Capital standings, placing seventh behind New Albany (27-1), Olentangy (24-4), Mount Vernon (19-9), Big Walnut (14-14), Orange (13-15) and Kilbourne (8-20) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-28).
Godfrey had the fourth-best average (76) over the four rounds to earn first-team all-league honors.
The Pacers will compete in the OCC Shootout on Monday, Sept. 23, at Moundbuilders and in a dual match against Orange on Thursday, Sept. 26, at Oakhaven before preparing for the Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Granville Golf Course.
Volleyball team notches first victory
The girls volleyball team earned its first victory of the season Sept. 12, beating host Franklin Heights 25-20, 21-25, 25-14, 25-21 in an OCC-Capital match.
The win snapped a nine-match losing streak.
"It was a big relief to get the first win," coach Josh Lee said. "This is one of the better Franklin Heights teams we've seen in a while, so it wasn't easy. It's been frustrating for the players and coaches. Even when we're seeing improvement, if you're not getting victories, it's still disappointing and demoralizing.
"We struggled with some team chemistry because this isn't the type of season the seniors and older girls expected, but they've started to become better leaders and help the young girls' growth."
The Pacers lost to Olentangy 25-14, 25-9, 25-20 on Sept. 17 and fell to Kilbourne 25-23, 25-6, 23-25, 25-15 on Sept. 18 to drop to 1-11 overall and 1-6 in the OCC-Capital.
Lee lauded the play of senior libero Jen Foreman and senior outside hitters Krysta Iwanek and Kaitlyn Woerner.
"Those three have been playing better and better and our setter Hannah Cook is also playing well," Lee said. "Tiarra Avant and Ciarah McAnelly are really coming along in the middle and Karli Reed has served well."