Junior running backs Caleb Day and Cameron Kohl combined for 171 yards rushing to lead the Hilliard Darby High School football team to a 41-12 win over host Whetstone 41-12 on Friday, Aug. 26, in the opener for both teams.
Day rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns on five carries and Kohl ran for 77 yards on seven carries.
"We were able to run the football and establish a good running game tonight," Panthers coach John Santagata said. "It seems like all the kids played really hard. A couple of them ran the ball really well and you've got to give credit to the offensive line. For the most part, those kids blocked well."
Day scored on runs of 2, 5 and 66 yards as Darby led 7-0 after the first quarter, 21-6 at halftime and 28-12 after three quarters.
Whetstone scored both of its touchdowns off Darby turnovers. Braves senior Maurice McPherson forced a fumble and recovered the ball at the Darby 4-yard line, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by senior running back Marvin Draper. The other score -- a 1-yard run by sophomore quarterback Rammy Finnegan -- was set up by a mishandled snap by Darby punter Kyle Kaplan.
"We played hard all the way to the end of the game," Braves coach Jim Worden said. "Darby runs the triple option and we haven't seen that and we probably won't again this season. We've got to take care of the basics. Football is a simple game. You've got to block, you've got to tackle and you've got to take care of the football. We had a couple big penalties that hurt us and we need to clean that kind of stuff up."
Whetstone plays another home game Sept. 2 against Thomas Worthington, while Darby plays host to Dublin Jerome that same night.
"We have to really break down the film," Santagata said. "We have a lot of work this week. We have a good football team next week in Jerome. Jerome is a good team traditionally and well-coached. We need to fix the little things that we didn't do real well tonight."
HILLIARD DARBY 7 14 7 13 -- 41
WHETSTONE 0 6 6 0 -- 12
HD --Vankirk 30 run (Kaplan kick)
W --Draper 1 run (kick failed)
HD --Day 2 run (Kaplan kick)
HD -- Longwell 5 run (Kaplan kick)
W -- Finnegan 1 run (pass failed)
HD -- Day 5 run (Kaplan kick)
HD -- Day 66 run (Kaplan kick)
HD -- Talley 11 run (kick failed)