Even Olentangy High School fans who make sure to keep their Friday nights open in the fall in order to watch their football team had to invest in a program to find out who was who for the season opener Aug. 26 at Hilliard Darby.

Even Olentangy High School fans who make sure to keep their Friday nights open in the fall in order to watch their football team had to invest in a program to find out who was who for the season opener Aug. 26 at Hilliard Darby.

With 31 seniors gone from a team that reached the third round of the Division I playoffs in 2015, the Braves also might have been somewhat of a mystery to their coaches.

As things turned out, there was nothing to fuss about on this night with Connor Haag throwing for touchdowns of 16, 18, 25 and 38 yards - two each to Caden Kaiser and Sam Durst - in Olentangy's 31-10 victory over the Panthers before a near capacity crowd.

Haag and Kaiser are sophomores, while Durst is a senior.

The game was a barometer for both teams in that they each made the playoffs the previous four seasons.

Darby led 10-0 just 90 seconds into the second quarter, but it was all Braves after that.

Olentangy took the lead for good, 14-10, when Durst caught a pass in the flat, turned the corner and outraced the defense to the end zone.

The Braves made it 21-10 when Kaiser capped an eight-play drive by catching a 25-yard touchdown pass over the middle with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter.

Durst got fans from both schools heading for the parking lot when he caught a 38-yard touchdown pass down the middle with 7:32 left in the fourth quarter.

It was a typical rag-tag opener, with plenty of penalties, missed assignments and coaches frantically hollering at an official for a timeout when they would see a player or players out of position.

Darby easily could have scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, but had a 36-yard run by quarterback Cory Brooks nullified by a holding penalty.

The Braves could have led at halftime, but defensive back Austin Rayburn and linebacker Jake Schnieder separated Durst from the ball in the end zone in the final minutes of the first half on fourth down.

The possession was set up when defensive lineman Zach Slade recovered an errant pitch at the Darby 28-yard line.

Tony Santos scored on a 1-yard run up the middle and Blake Sawicki kicked a 40-yard field goal to give Darby a 10-0 lead 1 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.

The touchdown was set up by a dazzling 24-yard run to the 1 by Brooks in which he rounded the left end, toed the sideline and was stopped a foot short of the pylon.

Olentangy, though, seemed to loosen up after getting its initial first down and capped a 79-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Haag to Kaiser to get within 10-7.

There are nine weeks remaining in the season, but there were critical playoff computer points at stake. Also, Olentangy plays Grove City, Reynoldsburg and Dublin Coffman the next three weeks. Darby plays Hilliard Davidson next week.

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final OLENTANGY
0 7 14 10 31 HILLIARD DARBY
7 3 0 0 10

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