The Olentangy Orange High School football team found success on offense and had two 100-yard rushers in its opener Aug. 24, but it was a defense missing standout Zach Harrison that preserved a 27-26 victory over visiting Worthington Kilbourne.
With the Pioneers playing without their star defensive end, cornerback Brad Snyder stopped a two-point conversion run by Kilbourne's Caleb Andrick with 3 minutes, 5 seconds to play. Orange then held the Wolves at bay the rest of the way.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Harrison is rated by several recruiting services as the state's top college recruit in the senior class. His status hasn't been determined for the Pioneers' home game Friday, Aug. 31, against Watterson.
"Zach has a bone bruise and it caused some soreness in one of his MCLs, but structurally he's fine," coach Zebb Schroeder said. "The swelling didn't go down as quickly as we thought, but he's getting treatment and icing it down. He's a week-to-week decision because we want to be cautious and not bring him back too soon."
Harrison was first-team all-state, all-district and all-league last fall, leading the Pioneers with 18.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks on 34.5 total tackles. As a tight end, he had nine receptions for 173 yards and four touchdowns.
Watterson lost its opener at Dublin Jerome 41-14 on Aug, 24. Sam Intihar returned an interception 56 yards for a second-quarter score for the Eagles, who trailed 28-0 at the time.
Quarterback Jacob Hoying connected on a 16-yard scoring pass to Davis Boone. Hoying was 15-for-29 passing for 170 yards with two interceptions and Tommy Bair rushed 14 times for 74 yards.
"They play really hard, and they are really young right now," Schroeder said. "Watching them against Jerome, things didn't go their way early but they kept clawing and scratching. Their defense plays really physical and hard."
Orange quarterback Robbie Dayhuff rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries against Kilbourne, and Mark Roberts added 126 yards and one score on 26 carries. Dayhuff also was 6-for-7 passing for 58 yards with one touchdown.
"I thought we made some unforced errors that we have to clean up," Schroeder said. "We had some new kids out there, but they have one game under their belts so they should be better for it."