In an intra-district showdown between teams starting young quarterbacks, the Olentangy High School football team continued to roll.
Braves sophomore quarterback Deeb Haber was 19 of 22 passing for 238 yards and three touchdowns, and Olentangy rolled up 28 first-quarter points in routing host Olentangy Orange 45-2 on Sept. 27.
“I love how we came out with some big plays early in the game,” said Braves coach Mark Solis, whose team improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Capital Division. “It was a good win. It was a fun win. We pulled out a few trick plays and we did some things on those.”
Haber threw touchdown passes of 16 and 62 yards to senior J.T. Grega and 6 yards to junior tight end Austin Kochheiser.
Junior running back Drew Batt scored a 68-yard touchdown on a double reverse and senior quarterback Jonah Gutentag, who played a few snaps in place of Haber, added a 1-yard run in the first-quarter onslaught and a 4-yard score on the final play of the first half.
“We played fast and we played together,” said Haber, who made his first varsity start last week after senior Noah Durst was lost for the season with a hand injury. “Things were a lot slower for me this week. You have to read a lot in this offense, and I feel like I was able to manage things pretty well.”
Orange fell to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the league, the worst start in the program’s six-year history, and lost to Olentangy for the fourth consecutive season.
The Braves’ defense capitalized on the inexperience of Orange freshman William Phillis, who made his first varsity start. Phillis was intercepted three times in the first half, and two of those preceded touchdowns against a largely overmatched Pioneers defense.
Nick Tarpey picked off Phillis at Orange’s 47 late in the first, and after the Braves were backed up to third-and-25, Haber found Grega wide open behind the Pioneers defense for a 62-yard touchdown to make it 28-0.
Nate Hall intercepted Phillis early in the second quarter and returned the ball to Orange’s 6, one play before Kochheiser’s score.
The only blemishes for Olentangy were 12 penalties, four of which were 15-yard personal fouls, and a safety after a bad snap that broke the shutout with 6:23 left before halftime.
Batt led the Braves with 92 yards rushing on 23 carries. Grega caught five passes for 85 yards.
Phillis finished 14 of 27 for 161 yards. Matthew Collins caught eight passes for 74 yards to pace the Pioneers.
OLE -- Grega 16 pass from Haber (Bell kick)
OLE -- Batt 68 run (kick failed)
OLE -- Gutentag 1 run (Dickinson pass from Haber)
OLE -- Grega 62 pass from Haber (Bell kick)
OLE -- Kochheiser 6 pass from Haber (Bell kick)
OO -- Safety, ball carrier tackled in end zone
OLE -- Gutentag 4 run (Jekunsky kick)
OLE -- Bell 27 FG