The Hilliard Bradley High School football team beat host Westerville South 52-48 on Sept. 27 in an OCC-Cardinal Division game that featured 10 lead changes.
The Jaguars improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the league, while the Wildcats dropped to 3-2 and 1-1.
“This was probably the greatest win in our program’s (five-year) history,” Bradley coach Mike LoParo said. “It’s easy for young programs to buckle under the conditions of a back-and-forth game like this, but we made big plays when we needed them.”
Bradley quarterback Tommy Horn was 11-for-17 passing for 129 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed for 73 yards and a score on 18 carries.
Running back T.J. Martin rushed for 111 yards on 19 carries, including the winning 1-yard touchdown with 1 minute, 17 seconds remaining.
“Neither team could stop the other’s offense, so when we got the ball the last time, we did what we could to bleed the clock so they wouldn’t have enough time left to score again,” LoParo said. “Then, our defense stepped up big and came up with a big stop.”
The Jaguars rallied from an 11-point, second-quarter deficit to take a 31-28 halftime lead, as their defense scored two first-half touchdowns.
Defensive back Daniel Tepe returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 7 in the first quarter, and linebacker Dalton Hatfield returned a fumble 53 yards for a score with 1:02 left in the second quarter to put Bradley ahead 31-28.
“Our offense gave up two touchdowns and their offense didn’t give us anything, and that was the difference,” South coach Rocky Pentello said. “Give Hilliard Bradley credit, though, because they didn’t make many mistakes.”
South running back Darien Miller rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. He finished with 306 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries, including an 8-yard scoring run that put South ahead 48-45 with 6:19 to play.
“This is the best offense we’ve faced all year,” Tepe said. “This is the greatest win we’ve ever had and it’s going to put our team on the map.”
HB -- Ireland 35 FG
WS -- Miller 1 run (Wenzinger kick)
WS -- Wilson 10 pass from Bates (Wenzinger kick)
HB -- Wall 1 run (Ireland kick)
WS -- Miller 70 run (Wenzinger kick)
HB -- Anderson 69 run (Ireland kick)
HB -- Hatfield 53 fumble return (Ireland kick)
WS -- Miller 1 run (kick failed)
HB -- Anderson 35 run (Ireland kick)
WS -- Miller 32 run (Wenzinger kick)
HB -- Reffitt 13 pass from Horn (Ireland kick)
WS -- Miller 8 run (Wenzinger kick)
HB -- Martin 1 run (Ireland kick)