The Hilliard Darby High School football team is riding as much momentum as it has all year, and the Panthers hope that is a benefit in this short week.

The Hilliard Darby High School football team is riding as much momentum as it has all year, and the Panthers hope that is a benefit in this short week.

Darby will try to extend its winning streak to four games and go above .500 for the first time this year when it visits Delaware in OCC-Cardinal Division play Thursday, Oct. 20.

The Panthers' defense took center-stage in a 16-6 win over visiting Worthington Kilbourne on Oct. 14, as Darby held the Wolves to 123 total yards.

"The defense played really well. That has been a focus," coach John Santagata said. "We did not give up the deep ball and read our keys very well. (The players) reacted appropriately to pretty much every situation, and (quarterback) Henry Sopko improved again, too. He's gotten more experience every week. We threw more than we typically have, but we allowed that to happen because we blocked well and caught the ball."

Sopko singlehandedly outgained Kilbourne, completing 11 of 15 passes for 135 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and rushing for 81 yards on 20 carries.

"We threw a lot a few years ago with (quarterback) Nick Powers," Santagata said, noting that Powers accounted for 1,228 yards rushing, 1,136 yards passing and 28 total touchdowns as a junior in 2014. "It all depends on what the defense gives you, and whether we have a guy with a solid arm and receivers who can win those man-to-man battles. Henry has done a nice job with this offense."

Delaware snapped a four-game losing streak with a 19-7 win at Thomas Worthington on Oct. 14. The Pacers, who started 3-0, are 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the league.

Deven Ward had 22 carries for 140 yards, more than half of which came on a 77-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Grant Conahan added a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and quarterback Cullen Moore threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Rogers with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left.

"They're a big team on both sides of the ball. That's the thing that is very noticeable on film," Santagata said. "They have big offensive linemen, defensive linemen and linebackers. They're wing-T based, but they do a lot out of the shotgun."

This will be the teams' first meeting since Sept. 6, 2002. Delaware leads the all-time series 4-2, with all of those games coming in Darby's first six years of existence.

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