It was a happy homecoming for the Olentangy Orange High School football team as the Pioneers scored 28 first-quarter points en route to a 49-22 victory over Watkins Memorial on Friday, Oct. 7.
Orange improved to 5-2 and 3-1 in the OCC-Capital Division. Watkins Memorial dropped to 3-4 and 1-3.
It was no surprise that Orange running back Brandon Schoen played a pivotal role. Schoen’s numbers weren’t overwhelming as he finished with six carries for 44 yards and one reception for 27 yards. However, Schoen scored three first-half touchdowns, including a 27-yard interception return that gave Orange a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Schoen added a 2-yard touchdown run and a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kofi Hill before the end of the first half as Orange led 42-7 at the break. Hill had 163 yards passing in the opening half.
“I just try to do my best to help the team,” Schoen said. “I just do whatever I can to help us get that win. We needed a big win against Watkins, and we knew they would play us hard because they gave other teams a run for their money.”
Orange gained 422 yards of total offense. Orange coach Brian Cross said his team was determined to get the passing game going early.
“We needed to throw the football because you have to work on your passing game because there is going to be a time when you needed it, and we haven’t done that well this year,” Cross said. We got a couple quick scores and then we got that interception to jump out in front, and I think we were able to relax a bit because (Watkins) always plays us tough. This was the first time we’ve ever had a lopsided score with them.”
With the game already in hand, the Orange reserves played the entire second half.
Watkins Memorial trailed 35-0 when Ron Carruthers-Kimball scored on a 62-yard run.
The Warriors’ offense found success in the fourth quarter. Evan Din capped a 14-play drive with a 9-yard run. On the next possession, Hunter Holton caught a 73-yard pass from quarterback Ben Shroyer for the final score.
After overcoming a 20-0 deficit against Delaware last week, Watkins Memorial coach Jeff Severino said the early deficit against Orange was too much to overcome.
“I think we got down so quick and our guys were in shock,” Severino said. “You just can’t do that against these high-end teams. There’s a big difference between Delaware and Olentangy Orange.”
WATKINS MEMORIAL 0 7 0 15 -- 22
OLENTANGY ORANGE 28 14 7 0 -- 49
OO--Wolford 29 run (Schrader kick)
OO--Schoen 27 interception return (Schrader kick)
OO--Schoen 2 run (Schrader kick)
OO--Forbes 2 run (Schrader kick)
OO--Bull 43 pass from Hill (Schrader kick)
WM--Carruthers-Kimball 61 run (Lyon kick)
OO--Schoen 27 pass from Hill (Schrader kick)
OO--Rode 2 run (Hopkins kick)
WM--Din 9 run (Kemp pass from Hopkins)
WM--Holton 73 pass from Shroyer (Casto kick)