Lucas Garcia rushed for 130 yards and the go-ahead touchdown as the Big Walnut High School football team opened OCC-Capital Division play with a 21-14 victory over host Watkins Memorial on Friday, Sept. 16.
Garcia, who had 18 carries, scored on a 9-yard run in the third quarter and Carson Chatterton ran in the two-point conversion to give the Golden Eagles a 14-7 lead.
Big Walnut improved to 3-1 while Watkins Memorial dropped to 2-2 after a 2-0 start.
Corey Gibson kicked a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
Watkins Memorial then rallied for its only lead. Safety Evan Din knocked down a Chatterton pass on fourth-and-goal and the Warriors went on a seven-play, 95-yard drive, capped by Brenden Kemp’s 47-yard run for a 7-3 lead with just under five minutes left in the first half.
Gibson kicked a 36-yard field goal to make it 7-6 at halftime.
"(The Warriors) came out on their homecoming and they played their tails off, but our kids answered the bell and in the second half. We came out and controlled the game," Eagles coach Joe Weaver said.
The Eagles opened the second half by keeping the ball on the ground for a 12-play, 70-yard drive in which Garcia’s touchdown gave them the lead.
"That's a credit to our kids,” Weaver said. “We made adjustments and they were able to take those adjustments and apply them."
Big Walnut increased its lead after a short punt by Watkins Memorial gave the Eagles the ball on the Warriors’ 40-yard line. A 34-yard pass from Chatterton to Seth Wandling moved the Eagles to the 6. Three plays later, Joey Johnson scored on a 2-yard run to make it 21-7.
Kemp added a 1-yard rushing touchdown for Watkins Memorial early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 115 yards on 19 carries.
Big Walnut was able to control the clock for much of the final quarter.
"We told (our kids) when we came out in the second half that they're going to come out and just power the ball right at you. We've got to stop them. But we let them drive that ball down the field and the kids never gave up, but we were just missing tackles,” Warriors coach Jeff Severino said. “I haven't seen the film, but it just looked like we couldn't stop them."
BIG WALNUT 3 3 15 0 -- 21
WATKINS MEMORIAL 0 7 0 7 -- 14
BW--Gibson 30 FG
WM--Kemp 47 run (Lyon kick)
BW--Gibson 36 FG
BW--Garcia 9 run (Chatterton run)
BW--Johnson 2 run (Gibson kick)
WM--Kemp 1 run (Lyon kick