C.J. Stablein was the first to admit it.
The junior quarterback for the Olentangy Orange High School football team had a sly grin and alluded to the fact that luck had a part in his 35-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the first half of a 33-10 win over visiting Franklin Heights on Oct. 18.
“I was pretty surprised,” said Stablein of the Hail Mary pass to sophomore wide receiver Matthew Collins. “I just thought we needed to put it up and see what happened, and Matt made a great catch.”
Collins split a pair of defenders to come down with the ball and put his team up for good as the Pioneers won their first game.
“C.J. had a great throw,” said Collins, whose team improved to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Capital. “He put it right where it needed to be.”
Stablein rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and was 10 of 16 passing for 135 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Senior running back Jake Bobrowski added 88 yards in nine carries for Orange and sophomore running back Tyler Lichter added 20 yard rushing and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Collins caught two passes for 48 yards and Bobrowski had three receptions for 22 yards. Lichter had three catches for 19 yards and senior wide receiver Emmanuel Djan had a 35-yard reception.
Senior linebacker Jake Lewis had a fumble recovery for the Pioneers.
Senior defensive lineman Baylee Kibbey had an interception and a fumble recovery for the Falcons, who fell to 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Capital. Senior defensive lineman Marquise Law added a fumble recovery.
Franklin Heights junior quarterback Ray Spangler had a 2-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Matt German. Spangler also had a 27-yard field goal.
OO -- Stablein 1 run (Siles kick)
FH -- German 2 pass from Spangler (Spangler kick)
FH -- Spangler 27 FG
OO -- Collins 35 pass from Stablein (run failed)
OO -- Stablein 8 run (Siles kick)
OO -- Lichter 17 run (kick failed)
OO -- Lichter 3 run (Siles kick)