The numbers weren't pretty for the Worthington Kilbourne High School football team in a 35-7 home loss to Hilliard Darby in the OCC-Central Division opener for both teams on Friday, Sept. 16.
Two first downs in the first half. Seven rushing yards. Not many more through the air.
"We knew coming into this season that we were a young team and not a very big team," Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti told his players after the game. "We have to learn from these experiences. We have to keep working. We have to keep getting better."
Despite giving up at least 25 pounds a man on both lines — where the Wolves started two sophomores on defense and three on offense — Kilbourne trailed only 7-0 at halftime.
Kilbourne senior defensive end Chris Skura sparked the Wolves, stopping two Darby drives with tackles behind the line.
"Chris is the only size we have on the line," Trombetti said. "He was outstanding tonight."
Darby returned the second-half kickoff to midfield, however, and junior quarterback Chase Longwell handed off on seven of eight plays. Junior running back Hayden Van Kirk carried five times for 42 yards and junior running back Caleb Day capped the drive with a 5-yard scoring run to put Darby ahead 14-0 with 7 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third quarter.
"I wouldn't have minded passing a few more times," Longwell said. "But running is pretty fun when you do it like we did it tonight."
Darby finished with 403 yards on the ground, as Van Kirk rushed for 211 yards on 15 carries — including a 90-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter — and Longwell added 92 yards on 18 attempts.
"The O-line really stepped it up. I wasn't even touched on the 90-yard run," Van Kirk said.
Darby coach John Santagata was especially pleased by the performance of his defense, which held Kilbourne to 45 yards rushing on 27 attempts.
"We played for four quarters. We faced some adversity early and didn't back down," he said. "I'm happy we're 4-0, but I told the kids we still have a lot of work to do. We need to look at the film and see where we can improve."
DARBY 0 7 14 14 -- 35
KILBOURNE 0 0 0 7 -- 7
HD--Longwell 25 run (Kaplan kick)
HD--Day 5 run (Kaplan kick)
HD--Longwell 3 run (Kaplan kick)
HD--Talley 15 run (Kaplan kick)
HD--Van Kirk 90 run (Kaplan kick)
WK--Gundling 30 pass from Reinhart (Watson kick)