Gus Ackley rushed 17 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 78 yards and another score to lead the Upper Arlington High School football team to a 43-20 win over visiting Walnut Ridge on Aug. 24.
Besides Ackley’s performance, turnovers were the story on opening night.
The teams combined for six turnovers in the first half. The Scots lost three fumbles and quarterback Marquez Toney was intercepted, while the Golden Bears (1-0) lost a fumble on the goal line and Alex Husted threw an interception.
“We thought we let a couple of things slip away at the end of the half,” Walnut Ridge coach Byron Mattox said. “We thought we could have kept it a little closer than it was. But you can’t turn the ball over four times in a half to an Upper Arlington team and expect to win.”
“It looked like the first game,” UA coach Mike Golden said. “A fumbled snap can’t happen ever. Ever. It’s big.”
On the opening drive, Husted lost the snap on third-and-goal from the Scots’ 2 and Walnut Ridge recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
Ackley scored on runs of 14 and 10 yards and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Husted on a fourth-and-16 play in the third quarter.
“I’m happy, but there’s a lot of things to still work on,” Golden said.
The Scots’ Rob Wheelwright, a Wisconsin recruit, had six catches for 90 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown from Darius Strickland.
Running back Jaisen Johnson opened the second half with a 91-yard kickoff return for score to cut UA’s lead to 23-14. Devon Bingham scored Walnut Ridge’s other touchdown on a 2-yard run.
“We played the whole way,” Mattox said. “But we had some growing pains. They didn’t give up and they’re going to get better. I think we’ll be fine the rest of the way.”
UA -- Baskent 29 FG
UA -- Ackley 14 run (Baskent kick)
WR -- Bingham 2 run (kick blocked)
UA -- Greenlee 7 run (kick failed)
UA -- Frey 11 pass from Husted (Baskent kick)
WR -- Johnson 91 kick return (Toney run)
UA -- Ackley 10 run (kick failed)
UA -- Ackley 27 pass from Husted (Baskent kick)
WR -- Wheelwright 13 pass from Strickland (run failed)
UA -- Greenlee 3 run (Baskent kick)