The Hilliard Darby High School football team remained undefeated with a 29-7 win over visiting Westerville Central on Oct. 19.
The Panthers improved to 9-0 overall and remained atop the OCC-Cardinal Division at 6-0.
The Panthers entered the game first in the Division I, Region 3 computer ratings. The top eight teams qualify for the postseason.
Darby closes the regular season Oct. 26 at Hilliard Bradley.
“With this schedule, there are no weeks where you can rest and the kids realize that and they’ve accepted that challenge,” Darby coach John Santagata said. “As a coach you’re concerned — can you get going week in and week out? And they have.”
Central fell to 6-3 overall and 3-3 in the league after losing its second consecutive game.
The Warhawks entered the game 10th in Division I, Region 3.
Darby led 17-0 at halftime after senior quarterback Chase Longwell scored on runs of 2 and 1 yard and Kyle Kaplan kicked a 23-yard field goal.
Caleb Day, a University of Illinois recruit, helped set up the Panthers’ second touchdown with a 47-yard punt return. He appeared to be trapped near his sideline before reversing field and running to the Central 19.
Kaplan’s field goal with 6 seconds remaining in the first half capped a 17-play, 78-yard drive.
The Panthers had a 150-9 advantage in total yards in the first half.
After Central closed to 17-7 early in the third quarter on Jared Drake’s 3-yard touchdown run, Darby regained control as Hayden VanKirk (7 yards) and Longwell (18) had touchdown runs.
Day’s interception set up Longwell’s third touchdown.
Darby finished with a 261-111 advantage in total yards.
“We didn’t tackle well and they beat us off the ball,” Central coach John Magistro said. “They whipped us up front. We made some nice plays here and there then we let them have 6, 7 yards up the gut. Offensively, we hardly had the ball and when we did some bad snaps tonight hurt us.”
Central closes the regular season Oct. 26 at home against Dublin Jerome.
HD -- Longwell 2 run (Kaplan kick)
HD -- Longwell 1 run (Kaplan kick)
HD -- Kaplan 23 FG
WC -- Drake 3 run (Robertson kick)
HD -- VanKirk 7 run (kick failed)
HD -- Longwell 18 run (kick blocked)