Senior defensive back Jared Row of the Olentangy High School football team redeemed himself for an earlier miscue as the host Braves held off Worthington Kilbourne 17-14 in the opener Aug. 24.
Row picked off a pass from Kilbourne quarterback Keaton Reinhart with just over a minute remaining and the Wolves threatening to pull out the victory.
“I got beat on their big touchdown play earlier in the game and my teammates just tried to keep me up,” Row said. “On that last play, I was just in my drop and (Reinhart) threw late. I didn’t even think he was going to throw it at all. I’m just happy I could make a play for my teammates because I felt awful earlier.”
Kilbourne was held to 39 yards rushing, but Reinhart threw for 220 yards (9-for-21, one interception). He threw for 65 yards during a 14-play, 92-yard drive that was capped by Isaac Lumpkin’s 1-yard run to make it 17-14 with 3:01 left.
The Wolves got the ball back with 1:16 remaining on their own 19, and Reinhart connected with Alex Rayis on a 41-yard play that had Kilbourne in business to possibly win.
“I don’t believe in moral victories,” Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti said. “We should’ve won this game. We need more players to step up and make plays.”
The defense stood out all game for the Braves, especially senior linebacker Griffin Binkley with 14 tackles.
“I thought our defense played very well except for a handful of big plays, but that nearly cost us,” Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger said. “A win is a win is a win and I’ll take that every week. We’re obviously happy to beat a well-coached Kilbourne team, but we have a lot to work on now.”
Two plays after senior Zach Ries recovered a fumble at the Kilbourne 2-yard line, quarterback Andrew Horstman scored on a 3-yard run to give the Braves a 17-7 lead with 10:46 left in the fourth quarter.
Horstman was 10-for-13 for 148 yards, with 128 yards accounted for by Christian Brett.
The Braves dominated the first 22 minutes, but scored only on a 25-yard field goal from Josh Baumbach early in the second quarter.
Kilbourne stopped a long drive late in the first half and Baumbach missed a 33-yard field-goal attempt.
The Wolves, who were limited to 14 plays from scrimmage to that point, then went 80 yards in four plays with Jonathan Watson grabbing an underthrown pass from Reinhart and racing 59 yards for a touchdown. He also kicked the extra point for a 7-3 lead with 40 seconds left before halftime.
O--Baumbach 25 FG
WK--Watson 59 pass from Reinhart (Watson kick)
O--Binkley 1 run (Baumbach kick)
O--Horstman 3 run (Baumbach kick)
WK--Lumpkin 1 run (Watson kick)