Cannon Blauser raced through the line and set the tone for the defensive unit of the Hilliard Bradley High School football team.
The senior linebacker bolted through an opening in Hilliard Darby’s offensive line and tackled Evan Grose in the end zone for a safety, opening the scoring as the host Jaguars beat the Panthers 16-8 on Sept. 14 in the OCC-Cardinal Division opener for both teams.
Blauser, an Ohio University recruit, said it was the defense’s favorite play.
“We call it ‘Moses,’ because it always opens up,” said Blauser, whose safety came with 7 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first quarter. “Dillon (Ysseldyke) is the nose guard and he opened up the hole. I just rushed through it and got the safety. He did all of the work.”
Bradley improved to 3-1 and Darby fell to 2-2.
The Jaguars stymied Darby in the first half, limiting the Panthers to 41 total yards. Coach John Santagata said his team gave Bradley a little bit of help.
“They’re a good team, but we made too many mental mistakes and had too many penalties in the first half,” said Santagata, whose team committed eight penalties for 65 yards in the first two quarters. “We played our hearts out, but we would get an 8-yarder, a 6-yarder and then move back 10 yards. That kills you.”
The Jaguars scored all the points they would need in the second quarter behind senior quarterback Griffin Veil, who finished 11-for-19 passing for 121 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He connected with Jack Richards on a 19-yard score and hit Trey Warner on a 49-yard screen as Bradley built a 16-0 lead.
Richards also rushed for 103 yards on 21 carries.
Darby defensive back Jaeln Benjamin intercepted Veil in the end zone in the fourth quarter, returning the pickoff to the Panthers’ 44-yard line. Eight plays later, Connor Jones scored on a 5-yard run with 6:50 to play, and quarterback Jack Stultz completed a two-point conversion pass to Grose.
“In the second half, (the Panthers) started blocking down the 3-technique (left defensive tackle) and that made it difficult on us,” Blauser said. “That built a wall for their backs to run behind.”
Jones ran for 91 yards on 21 carries. Stultz was 1-for-10 passing for 5 yards and rushed for 22 yards on 12 carries.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final HILLIARD DARBY 0 0 0 8 8 HILLIARD BRADLEY
2 14 0 0 16
HB—Safety, Grose tackled in end zone by Blauser
HB—Richards 19 pass from Veil (Banda kick)
HB—Warner 49 pass from Veil (Banda kick)
HD—Jones 5 run (Grose pass from Stultz)