Switches in offensive personnel have sparked the Dublin Jerome High School football team, as the Celtics defeated host Delaware 35-21 on Oct. 5 for their second consecutive victory.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Miller rushed for three touchdowns and threw for 173 yards and a touchdown in the first half of the OCC-Cardinal Division contest, as the Celtics took a 28-7 lead en route to improving to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the league.
“We don’t have guys with breakaway speed, but we have a lot of guys with heart and are willing to do what it takes,” Jerome coach Bob Gecewich said. “We moved Ryan to quarterback and Ray (Prochko) to running back (prior to a 33-0 win over Thomas Worthington on Sept. 28) and it’s paid dividends so far. But it wouldn’t work without Hayden (Schell’s) willingness. He’s been a starting quarterback for two years, but he was like ‘whatever it takes.’”
Against the Pacers, Miller finished 12-for-16 passing for 249 yards. Trey Ballengee caught five passes for 126 yards, and Prochko had 136 yards rushing on 27 carries.
“We hurt ourselves in the second quarter,” said Delaware coach Scott Wetzel, whose team fell to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal. “Between penalties and allowing big plays, things kind of snowballed on us. But I was proud of the way we came out in the third quarter and made a game of this. But we have to get better.
“The thing with Jerome is, how in the world were they 2-4 coming in here? They’re big, physical and have talent and depth. We knew they were one of the best teams with a losing record in the state.”
In the first half, Delaware had five penalties for 50 yards, two of which extended drives, and Jerome had the ball for nearly 18 of the 24 minutes. The Celtics also had nine plays covering at least 11 yards.
The Pacers lost running back Jahi Broussard-Nash to injury on his 7-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter that tied the score at 7.
It was all Celtics for the rest of the quarter, as they scored on their next three possessions. Miller capped the first drive with a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal and then tossed a 5-yard scoring pass to Luke Martin on another fourth-and-goal.
After the Celtics’ Brandon Infante intercepted a pass by Delaware quarterback Blake Eiland at midfield with under three minutes remaining in the half, Miller ran up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left.
In the third quarter, the Pacers held the ball for all but 2:31 and got a 6-yard scoring run from Warren Clasen and a 1-yard touchdown run from Eiland to pull within 28-21.
But the Pacers were pinned deep in their end twice in the fourth quarter and a 28-yard punt set up a 42-yard drive for the Celtics, with Will Rigby scoring on a 3-yard run to seal the outcome midway through the quarter.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final DUBLIN JEROME 7 21 0 7 35 DELAWARE HAYES
0 7 14 0 21
DJ—Miller 1 run (Gross kick)
D—Broussard-Nash 7 run (Klumpp kick)
DJ—Miller 1 run (Gross kick)
DJ—Martin 5 pass from Miller (Gross kick)
DJ—Miller 13 run (Gross kick)
D—Clasen 6 run (Klumpp kick)
D—Eiland 1 run (Klumpp kick)
DJ—Rigby 3 run (Gross kick)