The Delaware Hayes High School football team overcame a sluggish first half to defeat host Mount Vernon 24-13 on Friday, Sept. 23.
The Pacers improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Capital Division. Mount Vernon dropped to 0-5 and 0-2.
Delaware led just 7-6 at halftime before taking control of the line of scrimmage. Junior Taylor Adair ran for 105 yards on 19 carries and also caught a pass for 18 yards to lead the Pacers’ offense, and sophomore defensive back Caleb Howell grabbed a pair of interceptions.
“Taylor Adair isn’t real big, but boy did he run hard tonight,” Delaware coach Zebb Schroeder said. “I’m happy and proud of him because he didn’t miss any offseason workouts and his work ethic is paying off. I also thought C.J. Wade ran very hard, and our line just took over out there.”
The Pacers drove 80 yards on 11 plays to open the second half, with Ethan Nichol catching an 11-yard touchdown pass from Josh Bender to give Delaware a 14-6 lead.
Mount Vernon then went three-and-out and Delaware took over at midfield.
The Pacers reached the Yellow Jackets’ 37-yard line where they faced third-and-12. Nichol pulled in a pass from Alex Rafeld with one hand while maintaining his balance to complete a 26-yard play. Rafeld connected with Matt Bingaya for an 11-yard touchdown on the next play to give Delaware a 21-6 lead.
“We needed another receiver to step up and alleviate pressure from the double teams Matt Bingaya is facing and Ethan certainly did that,” Schroeder said. “Between him stepping up and Taylor Adair running, we’re giving defenses other things to worry about other than Bingaya.”
Howell intercepted a pass from Mount Vernon’s Shawn Maxwell two plays later. The Pacers drove 11 plays before stalling and Anthony Sanfillipo kicked a 36-yard field goal with 8 minutes, 53 seconds remaining in the game.
Levi Stump, who had given Mount Vernon a 6-0 lead two plays into the game on a 15-yard run following a 61-yard kickoff return by Bradley Fenton, scored the game’s final points on an 18-yard run with 7:41 left. Stump had 102 yards on 15 carries.
The Pacers ate up nearly the rest of the game with an 11-play drive that stalled on downs at Mount Vernon’s 9 with 1:04 left.
Bender was 5-for-9 passing for 82 yards and a touchdown for Delaware, and Rafeld was 4-for-6 passing for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Bingaya had five catches for 64 yards and two scores and Nichol finished with three catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
DELAWARE 7 0 14 3 -- 24
MOUNT VERNON 6 0 0 7 -- 13
MV--Stump 15 run (kick blocked)
D--Bingaya 17 pass from Rafeld (Sanfillipo kick)
D--Nichol 13 pass from Bender (Sanfillipo kick)
D--Bingaya 11 pass from Rafeld (Sanfillipo kick)
D--Sanfillipo 36 FG
MV--Stump 18 run (Hermen kick)