A 52-51 win over visiting Reynoldsburg might have been the most memorable game for the Olentangy High School football team last year.
The Braves trailed by 27 points in the third quarter but won a game that took just more than five hours to complete – thanks to two weather delays – on Ali Iverson’s 5-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds to play.
But that’s the furthest thing from coach Mark Solis’ mind as his team attempts to improve to 3-0 Friday, Sept. 8, on the road against the Raiders.
“We don’t put a lot of stock into last year … and our big focus is on us right now,” Solis said. “Fundamentally speaking, we have a lot to work on. We can improve on everything. We probably left 21 points on the board (in a 21-10 win at Grove City on Sept. 1). We had some stupid penalties and they did a good job keeping the ball away from us.”
Iverson, Jaden Konadu and Zach Slade all had rushing touchdowns for the Braves, who led 21-3 at halftime and held off the Dawgs throughout the second half.
This is the second consecutive road game for Olentangy, which is in a stretch of four out of five games away from home, as well as Reynoldsburg’s home opener. The Raiders improved to 1-1 with a 34-0 win at St. Charles on Sept. 1.
Quarterback Justin Henry completed eight of 13 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, and Geniro McDowell rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on six carries as Reynoldsburg gained 204 of its 332 yards on the ground.
A defense led by linemen Jay Amburgey and Elijah Ratliff and linebacker Dez Cooper limited the Cardinals to 114 total yards. Ratliff is a Marshall commit.
Offensive lineman Joe Boggs is a Ball State commit.
Reynoldsburg did not commit a turnover after having two in the final eight minutes of its season-opening 15-13 loss at New Albany on Aug. 24.
“They’re very athletic. That’s our most obvious concern,” Solis said. “They have big-play capability and they can go the length of the field on you pretty quickly. This is another one of those games on our non-conference schedule that I think can really help us. We’ve played some tough teams and we have some more on the way. The big thing for us will be learning from those and staying healthy.”
Olentangy long snapper and offensive lineman James Rosenberry was selected last week to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Jan. 6 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The 6-foot, 210-pound senior, who will be a preferred walk-on at Maryland, is in his second year as the Braves’ long snapper.