Patience paid off for the Olentangy Orange High School football team against host Olentangy on Oct. 6 in OCC-Buckeye Division play.
The Pioneers trailed by 18 points early in the second quarter but scored 27 consecutive points en route to a 30-28 win.
Orange, which still trails the all-time series 6-3, improved to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the league, while Olentangy fell to 5-2 and 1-1.
Pioneers defensive end Zach Harrison tackled Olentangy running back Ali Iverson for a 3-yard loss to the Orange 35-yard line on fourth-and-4 with 1 minute, 2 seconds left to secure the win.
“That was a play right there,” Pioneers coach Zebb Schroeder said. “We never panicked and just kept focusing on the things we needed to do.”
The Braves took a 21-3 lead when Iverson scored on a 3-yard run with 5:31 left in the second quarter.
Pioneers quarterback Luke Schmeling scored on a 1-yard run with 1:10 left in the first half and then connected with Manny Anderson on a 37-yard score on the first play of the second half to cut the deficit to 21-17.
“We were down, but we stuck to the game plan,” Schmeling said. “We never lost faith and never lost confidence in one another. We just kept grinding.”
Garrett Runyon scored on a 60-yard punt return in the fourth quarter to give Orange a 30-21 lead. He also had a long kickoff return that set up Schmeling’s touchdown pass to Anderson.
“We can’t give up that kind of yardage on special teams,” Olentangy coach Mark Solis said. “We didn’t get it done on special teams.”
Schmeling was 8-for-16 passing for 119 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 59 yards and one score on 10 carries. Mark Roberts added 82 yards rushing on six carries and Anderson had three receptions for 58 yards.
Iverson led the Braves with 143 yards rushing and a touchdown on 23 carries. Quarterback Riley Bruening completed 13 of 19 passes for 164 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Caden Kaiser caught three passes for 83 yards and two scores.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final OLENTANGY ORANGE 0 10 13 7 30 OLENTANGY
14 7 0 7 28
OL—Kaiser 73 pass from Bruening (Petrone kick)
OL—Reidel 2 run (Petrone kick)
OO—Simon 27 FG
OL—Iverson 2 run (Petrone kick)
OO—Schmeling 1 run (Simon kick)
OO—Anderson 37 pass from Schmeling (Petrone kick)
OO—Simon 36 FG
OO—Simon 40 FG
OO—Runyon 60 punt return (Simon kick)
OL—Kaiser 6 pass from Bruening (Petrone kick)