Brandon Schoen ran for 227 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries and caught a 49-yard pass for another score as the Olentangy Orange High School football team defeated host Delaware 47-21 at Gauthier Field on Friday, Oct. 28.
The Pioneers earned a share of the OCC-Capital Division championship and likely will make a Division I postseason appearance next week.
“We just wanted to focus, play Orange football and win,” said Schoen, whose team finished the regular season 8-2 overall and 7-1 in league play to tie Big Walnut and New Albany for the title. “We knew if we did that, we had at least a share of the OCC championship and would have a pretty good chance of playing in Week 11, which is what we really wanted because we feel like we’re on a roll now. We don’t care who we play. We just want to get in.”
The Pacers finished 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Capital.
“Focus was our key all week because we’re dealing with teenagers and they knew we beat (Hilliard) Bradley pretty well and Bradley just beat (Delaware) pretty well,” coach Brian Cross said. “But it wasn’t difficult to convince the kids that Delaware would come to play hard.
“You watch the film and no matter what the score is, they play hard. They move the ball on everyone. They had two long drives against our No. 1 defense. They’ve struggled on defense, but they play to the last snap.”
There was proof of that. Orange had to reinsert its No. 1 offense with over five minutes remaining after its No. 2 offense failed to move the ball on two series. The Pacers scored back-to-back touchdowns, with Alex Rafeld throwing a 9-yard scoring pass to C.J. Wade and Jeremy Hunt bolting 49 yards for a score to make it 40-21 with 5:37 left.
Schoen and company came back in and Schoen tacked on a 24-yard touchdown run with 50 seconds left.
“No, we didn’t really want to score, we just wanted to maintain the ball and not let them get it back,” Cross said. “If he gets injured there, I look (stupid), but we didn’t want to risk them getting a turnover, a score and putting the heat on us. I was impressed with the way they played. They had six or seven plays tonight where they were within a tackle of making huge plays against us.”
Schoen also scored on runs of 72, 6 and 16 yards and Kofi Hill threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Hardy for a 27-0 lead before Delaware scored on the final offensive play of the first half when Rafeld threw an 11-yard touchdown to Ethan Nichol.
Schoen then scored on a 49-yard pass from Hill on the first snap of the second half. It was close to being a lateral, which would’ve given Schoen 276 yards rushing.
“My line blocked well, the receivers blocked well downfield and my fullback, Mikey Forbes (77 yards rushing) blocked extremely well and also ran very well to keep the defense honest,” Schoen said. “When I get big numbers, it’s not because of me, but because of them.”
“(Schoen) is a difference-maker,” Delaware coach Zebb Schroeder said. “He turns their 5- or 6-yard gains into long touchdowns. They are a very good team with a special weapon.”
Hunt rushed for 132 yards on 13 carries to lead the Pacers.
ORANGE 7 20 13 7 -- 47
DELAWARE 0 7 0 14 -- 21
OO--Schoen 72 run (Schrader kick)
OO--Schoen 6 run (kick failed)
OO--Schoen 16 run (Hopkins kick)
OO--Hardy 7 pass from Hill (Hopkins kick)
D--Nichol 11 pass from Rafeld (Spivey kick)
OO--Schoen 49 pass from Hill (kick failec)
OO--Hill 10 run (Hopkins kick)
D--Wade 9 pass from Rafeld (Spivey kick)
D--Hunt 49 run (Spivey kick)
OO--Schoen 24 run (Hopkins kick)