While the Westerville Central High School football team got its offense rolling, two fourth-quarter turnovers helped ensure the Warhawks would get their first victory of the season.
A tipped pass landed in the hands of defensive back Ryan Hallinan, who turned up the sideline for a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown with about four minutes left to help secure Central’s 31-21 victory over visiting Upper Arlington on Sept. 1.
“He’s got some speed on him, and we got some pressure on their quarterback,” said Central coach John Magistro, whose team improved to 1-1. “We tipped the ball, and he just happened to be in the right place.”
Central scored 21 fourth-quarter points, including two touchdowns from quarterback Isaiah Healy, who ran for a 33-yard score and connected with Ashton Gilkey from 47 yards.
Healy completed 10 of 17 passes for 149 yards.
The Warhawks’ running game was just as solid with senior Allen Smith gaining 153 yards on 27 carries. His 19-yard touchdown run gave Central a 7-0 lead. He carried the ball eight times during an 18-play drive that led to a 32-yard field goal by Jacob Borcilla that gave Central a 10-7 lead at halftime.
UA’s offense looked much different than it did in a 53-0 rout of St. Charles on Aug. 25. Four turnovers and nine penalties for 62 yards disgusted Golden Bears coach Joel Cutler, whose team dropped to 1-1.
“I don’t know if we can beat anybody doing that and adding the … turnovers on top of it,” he said. “The first thing we’ve got to do is take care of us.”
Despite mistakes, the Bears briefly took a 14-10 lead when quarterback Sammy Sass hit Will Robbins for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 58 seconds left in the third quarter.
Sass, who completed 15 of 37 passes for 206 yards with two interceptions, also connected with Robbins on a 74-yard score to tie the game at 7 in the first quarter.
UA running back Eli D’Herete finished with 75 yards rushing, including an 18-yard touchdown, and Avery Heath added 65 yards on 12 carries.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final UPPER ARLINGTON
7 0 7 7 21 WESTERVILLE CENTRAL
7 3 0 21 31
WC–Smith 19 run (Borcilla kick)
UA–Robbins 74 pass from Sass (Stavridis kick)
WC–Borcilla 32 FG
UA–Robbins 14 pass from Sass (Stavridis kick)
WC–Gilkey 47 pass from Healy (Borcilla kick)
WC–Healy 33 run (Borcilla kick)
WC–Hallinan 58 interception return (Borcilla kick)
UA–D’Herete 18 run (Raish kick)