The Olentangy High School football team scored three touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Lexington 35-21 on Sept. 7 and remain unbeaten.
The Braves improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2008. That season, they won their first five games en route to going 7-4 and losing to Sylvania Southview 28-14 in the first round of the Division II, Region 6 playoffs. They haven’t been to the playoffs since.
“Nothing ever comes easy,” Braves coach Ed Terwilliger said. “(Lexington) coach (Dan) Studer did an unbelievable job preparing for us. … What I’m proud of the most about our kids is we didn’t quit and when we got the one break we needed, we finished the drive.”
Olentangy turned the ball over at its 39-yard line on a botched handoff and six plays later Lexington scored on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Trent Richwine to fullback Andrew Hunt to take a 21-14 lead with 7 minutes, 19 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Olentangy faced a fourth-and-12 from the Lexington 30 and quarterback Andrew Horstman overthrew wide receiver Victor Elmurr in the end zone. However, Elmurr was tripped on the play by cornerback Bryce Brooks and pass interference was called, giving the Braves a first down at the 15.
Four plays later, Horstman scored on a 1-yard run to tie the game at 21 with 3:08 remaining.
“Unfortunately for (Lexington), they did have that interference call,” Terwilliger said. “There’s no such thing as an uncatchable ball in high school, so if it’s interference, it’s interference.”
Lexington, which dropped to 2-1, was forced to punt on its next possession, giving the Braves the ball at their own 31. On the first play of the possession, running back Ramal Iverson took a pitch from Horstman and ran down the right sideline for a 69-yard touchdown to give Olentangy a 28-21 lead with 1:49 left.
“Ramal’s the one running back we have who can take it to the house, and he did,” Terwilliger said.
Olentangy linebacker Tim Feasel intercepted Richwine on the next play from scrimmage and returned the ball seven yards to the Lexington 23. Three plays later, fullback Luke Hartline scored on a 14-yard run to make it 35-21 with 48 seconds left.
“We made some mistakes,” Studer said when asked about the Braves’ 21-point fourth quarter. “We had a couple penalties and that sure didn’t help us. And I made some calls (on offense) at the end of the second half that I’m not very proud of. That’s on me. … We’re going to take what we can from this and hopefully win some football games going forward.”
Olentangy opened the scoring on its first possession. Starting at the Lexington 35 after a 17-yard punt return by Christian Brett, the Braves reached the end zone in three plays, with Hartline capping the drive with a 16-yard run.
Lexington tied the game at 7 later in the quarter when Richwine scored on a 1-yard run on fourth down.
The Braves went ahead 14-7 on a 38-yard pass from Horstman to Elmurr with 22 seconds left in the first quarter, but the Minutemen tied the score again midway through the second quarter when Richwine connected with wide receiver Quinton Wade on a 4-yard pass to cap a 12-play, 65-yard drive.
O -- Hartline 16 run (Baumbach kick)
L -- Richwine 1 run (Masi kick)
O -- Elmurr 38 pass from Horstman (Baumbach kick)
L -- Wade 4 pass from Richwine (Masi kick)
L -- Hunt 11 pass from Richwine (Masi kick)
O -- Horstman 1 run (Baumbach kick)
O -- Iverson 69 run (Baumbach kick)
O -- Hartline 14 run (Baumbach kick)