The Hilliard Darby High School football team routed visiting Westerville North 37-6 in the OCC-Cardinal Division opener Sept. 20 on a wet, muddy field.
Running back Lorenzo McLaurin rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries for the Panthers, who improved to 3-1 overall.
The Warriors, who managed just 116 yards of total offense and turned the ball over five times, dropped to 2-2 overall.
“With all of the distractions that come with playing in a hard rain and having a long lightning delay, our kids did a good job of staying focused and playing hard the whole game,” Darby coach John Santagata said. “I thought our defense played really well overall.”
The Panthers took a 7-0 lead on their first drive, as McLaurin scored on a 33-yard run.
After defensive back Ben Radcliff recovered a North fumble at the Warriors’ 38, Darby put together a 10-play scoring drive capped by a 2-yard run by McLaurin.
Backup quarterback Trevor Cox then ran in for the two-point conversion to make it 15-0 with 11 minutes, 56 seconds left in the second quarter.
After the game was delayed by lightning for 55 minutes in the second quarter, quarterback Nate Green threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Devon Rogers to give Darby a 22-0 lead.
Green added a 23-yard scoring pass to Cox to put Darby ahead 30-0 early in the third quarter, and the Panthers pulled most of their starters for the rest of the game.
“I felt it would be beneficial for us if we could score after the blocked punt, because we’d just gone through the long break,” Santagata said. “It was important to score again right after halftime to keep the game going our way, and we did.”
North’s Jake Hinz ran for 47 yards and a touchdown on nine carries to lead the Warriors, who lost four fumbles in the second half.
“I was pleased with our effort, but our execution really hurt us,” North coach Rodger Elander said. “You have to stop all three phases of their offense every play, and when we had one guy out of position, they took advantage of it.”
HD -- McLaurin 33 run (Kasprzak kick)
HD -- McLaurin 2 run (Cox run)
HD -- Rogers 19 pass from Green (Kasprzak kick)
HD -- Cox 23 pass from Green (Cox run)
HD --Trapasso 4 run (Kasprzak kick)
WN -- Hinz 18 run (pass failed)