It had been awhile since the Worthington Kilbourne High School football team was able to ring the victory bell in front of a home crowd.
So even though few fans hung around in the chilly rain to witness it Oct. 5 after a 34-14 win over visiting Hilliard Bradley, the Wolves reveled in the moment.
"We haven't been able to do that after a home game in quite a while," coach Vince Trombetti said. "We appreciate the fans who supported us and sat through the rain and we had a pretty good crowd to start the game. Although the rain thinned the crowd out some, it was nice to see some of them sit through the rain to support us."
Kilbourne's previous home win was Oct. 15, 2010, when it defeated Central Crossing 62-28.
The Wolves, who improved to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division, have two more opportunities to ring the bell this season, including Friday, Oct. 12, against Dublin Jerome.
"The key for us is to make Jerome go 10, 12 or 14 plays to score," Trombetti said. "Our defense has allowed big plays all season. We bent but didn't break against Bradley, and that was one of the big keys. Their longest run was 17 yards and their longest pass was 8 yards."
Jerome is led by Georgia Tech recruit Donovan Wilson, who was bullish in a 42-23 loss to Dublin Scioto on Oct. 5. He ran 49 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
"He's a load," Trombetti said. "For our defense, it'll be like standing in front of a freight train. Their offensive line comes off the ball hard and physical and then this big back barrels right at you behind the line."
The defense pushed Kilbourne over the top last week, according to Trombetti.
"We lost several close games and we've told the boys that if we go out and win all three phases of the game, it's difficult to lose," he said. "We did that against Bradley. We won on offense, defense and special teams. Plus, we generated three turnovers. The game was a lot closer than you'd think if you just looked at a box score."
With the Wolves leading 17-14 late in the third quarter, the Jaguars were driving when defensive lineman Jay Kennedy forced a fumble by Bradley quarterback Tommy Horn. Seth Hill scooped up the ball and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown.
Hill had scored earlier on a 91-yard kickoff return.
"We scored on defense and on special teams, and our special teams were outstanding all game," Trombetti said. "Seth Hill had a great all-around game and Gavin Elifritz was spectacular on the defensive line for us.
"He played his head off. He had 10 tackles, with five solos, and two quarterback sacks. It's unusual for a lineman to lead the team in tackles, but that's the way he played (last) Friday night."
Isaac Lumpkin had 72 yards rushing on 13 carries. Matt Wylly added 60 yards on 13 rushes and had an interception.
"Getting a win is such a reward for the boys," Trombetti said. "Maybe it will erase any doubts if there were any there. They've had a great attitude and have worked hard. Three of our losses were by one touchdown or less, so we could be 5-2 instead of 2-5.
"It's a feeling of relief to prove to them that hard work eventually will pay off. I hope they gain some confidence and we play our best football of the season these last few weeks to finish strong."