A big-play defense and the legs of senior running back Chris Frey helped the Upper Arlington High School football team earn its first victory Sept. 13.
The Golden Bears intercepted three passes, took advantage of a miscue on special teams and got three touchdown runs from Frey to beat visiting Gahanna 31-7. UA improved to 1-2, while the Lions dropped to 0-3.
“The last couple weeks we just gave up the big plays,” UA senior linebacker Lewis Hughes said. “We did a lot of open-field tackling practice and worked on having all 11 guys go to the ball. Everybody worked hard.”
UA opened the scoring with a 5-yard run by Frey with 7 minutes, 13 seconds left in the opening quarter. That was set up when a bad snap on a Gahanna punt gave the Bears the ball at the Lions 9.
Gahanna — which was stopped 10 times for negative yardage — scored its only touchdown on the ensuing drive. After a 61-yard kickoff return by Emile Camm to the UA 32, the Lions scored four plays later on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ronald Robinson to Kevin Randolph.
Gahanna’s next two possessions ended with an interception and a punt, respectively, and the Bears took a 14-7 lead with 7:20 to go before halftime on an 8-yard run by Frey.
Robinson’s second interception gave the Bears the ball at their own 30 with 3:39 to go in the second quarter. UA then made it 17-7 on a 35-yard field goal by Jared O’Brien with 16.3 seconds left before halftime.
The Bears built a 24-7 lead on a 58-yard touchdown run by Chase Greenlee with 5:32 remaining. Frey closed the scoring with 3:34 to go on an 82-yard run.
“Our defense has been playing real well all year. They were just out there far too long the first two weeks,” UA coach Mike Golden said. “We wanted to get back to running some little wing-T traps.”
Frey finished with 23 carries for 186 yards to lead an offense that produced 306 total yards.
Robinson was held to 9-for-27 passing for 103 yards and led the Lions in rushing with 38 yards on 18 carries.
“Our defense was just on the field the whole game,” Gahanna coach John Snoad said. “The key now is that we have to stay together.”
UA -- Frey 5 run (O’Brien kick)
G -- Randolph 11 pass from Robinson (Harding kick)
UA -- Frey 8 run (O’Brien kick)
UA -- O’Brien 35 FG
UA -- Greenlee 58 run (O’Brien kick)
UA -- Frey 82 run (O’Brien kick)