Senior Andrew Bonnell kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired to give the Westerville South High School football team a 31-28 victory at Marysville in an OCC-Cardinal Division game Friday, Oct. 7.
The Wildcats improved 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the league, while the Monarchs dropped to 4-3 and 2-2.
Junior Marcus Ball wasn’t able to play quarterback for the Wildcats because he was too sick to play both offense and defense. South also was missing junior running back Jalen Bell and junior middle linebacker Jordan Rodriguez, who were suspended for undisclosed reasons.
But with Nick Renzetti and Evan Lese each playing multiple series at quarterback, the Wildcats managed to rally from a 14-point deficit.
“Marcus was sick all week, but we had to have him at safety because he’s a phenomenal defensive player,” South coach Rocky Pentello said. “But we had some other kids step up and make plays on the offensive side of the ball, because that’s what Westerville South players do.”
But it all came down to Bonnell’s kick.
“That was the first real big-pressure kick to win a game that I’ve ever attempted,” Bonnell said. “I just tried to not let the pressure get to me. Our line did its job and the snap and hold were good, so I just did my part.”
With starting tailback Kody Davisson out with a high ankle sprain, Marysville coach Jeff Gafford asked tight end Craig Runyan to play tailback.
The Toledo recruit responded by rushing for 215 yards and three touchdowns on 37 carries.
Runyan had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs in the first half to give the Monarchs a 14-0 lead, and he scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter to make it 21-7.
“I’m always ready to do whatever the team wants me to do,” Runyan said. “I just followed my blockers and my offensive line did a good job.”
Renzetti threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Kelly Carter early in the second quarter and Lese scored on a 2-yard run late in the second to pull South within 21-14.
South opened the third quarter with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to tie the game at 21 on Daxton Cates’ 22-yard run.
Marysville countered with an 11-play, 82-yard drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Joseph Boyd with 3 minutes, 58 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
But Renzetti threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Gary Brown with 2:42 left to tie the game at 28.
Renzetti was 10-for-19 passing for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
“This was the second start of my varsity career, and I had a better feel for the tempo and everything this time around,” Renzetti said. “We know that we’re never out of the game until there’s no time left because we’ve got a lot of good athletes who can make plays for us.”
Marysville punted to South’s 32-yard line with 50.7 seconds left, but the Wildcats drove to the Monarchs’ 8-yard line in five plays to set up the winning field goal.
Cates finished with 127 rushing yards on 24 carries.
“This was a well-played game and we put ourselves in position to win, but we didn’t finish it,” Gafford said. “They spread us out and we didn’t match up real well with their skill players in space.”
WESTERVILLE SOUTH 0 14 7 10 -- 31
MARYSVILLE 7 14 0 7 -- 28
M--Runyan 1 run (Mazza kick)
M--Runyan 1 run (Mazza kick)
WS--Carter 18 pass from Renzetti (Bonnell kick)
M--Runyan 2 run (Mazza kick)
WS--Lese 2 run (Bonnell kick)
WS--Cates 22 run (Bonnell kick)
M--Boyd 1 run (Mazza kick)
WS--Brown 31 pass from Renzetti (Bonnell kick)
WS--Bonnell 25 FG