Nick Renzetti completed 22 of 36 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns as the Westerville South High School football team opened the OCC-Cardinal Division schedule with a 28-7 victory over visiting Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 14.
Noah Prentiss also rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown as South improved to 4-0 overall.
“Our passing game has been good all year and when they thinned the box out to cover our receivers, we ran the ball well,” South coach Rocky Pentello said. “We got sloppy in the second half and we’ve got to work on improving our pass protection. But credit Kilbourne for mixing things up and playing us tough defensively.”
Kilbourne struggled on offense as it fell 1-3 overall, finishing with 121 rushing yards on 38 carries and 20 yards through the air.
“Our defense played great and that was the biggest reason we won this game,” Pentello said. “Even when they scored their touchdown, they started with the ball inside our 10-yard line and it took them four plays to get it in.”
South outgained Kilbourne 363-47 in offensive yards over the first two quarters while building a 21-0 lead, as Renzetti was 15-for-17 passing for 314 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.
The Wildcats opened the game with an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, which was capped by a 26-yard pass from Renzetti to Jalen Bell.
After Kilbourne punted inside South’s 1-yard line and the Wildcats were backed up further by a delay-of-game penalty, Renzetti threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Torrodd Carter to make it 14-0.
South’s passing offense continued to be effective in the second quarter, as Renzetti connected with Bell on a 3-yard scoring pass.
The Wildcats also drove to Kilbourne’s 1-yard line late in the second quarter but Renzetti was stopped inches short of the end zone as time expired.
Ryan Maloney blocked and recovered a South punt at the Wildcats’ 3 early in the second quarter, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Matt Poe to pull Kilbourne within 21-7.
Prentiss added a 10-yard touchdown run for South with 45 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to close the scoring.
Bell finished with 11 catches for 145 yards and two scores.
Isaac Lumpkin led Kilbourne by rushing for 94 yards on 13 carries.
“There’s no shame in losing to a tough team like Westerville South,” Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti said. “They have a lot of weapons and they may be the best team in central Ohio right now.
“I really like the way our defense played, especially when we had a goal-line stand at the end of the first half. We played bend-but-don’t break defense after giving up that 99-yard touchdown pass. But, obviously, we needed to play much better offensively.”
WS—Bell 26 pass from Renzetti (Linzell kick)
WS—Carter 99 pass from Renzetti (Linzell kick)
WS—Bell 3 pass from Renzetti (Linzell kick)
WK—Poe 1 run (Watson kick)
WS—Prentiss 10 run (Linzell kick)