The Delaware Hayes High School football team won its first three games of the season for the first time this century and looked to extend its winning streak in its OCC-Cardinal Division opener Sept. 14 against first-year Olentangy Berlin.
"The kids have really bought into what we're doing and I think we may have caught Marysville off guard (in a 17-16 overtime win on Aug. 31)," first-year coach Scott Wetzel said. "But we're not looking back to last week, last year or last decade. All we care about is the week at hand."
The Pacers opened with a 24-7 win over Buckeye Valley on Aug. 24 and defeated Westland 30-7 on Sept. 7 after beating Marysville.
It represents Delaware's second three-game winning streak since 2009. The Pacers also won three consecutive games in 2015 (Weeks 7, 8 and 9) after winning four in a row in 2009 (Weeks 5, 6, 7 and 8), which, entering play Sept. 14, marked their only four-game winning streak this century.
Delaware is seeking its first winning season since finishing 6-4 in 2009. Its only other winning season this century was 2008, when it qualified for the Division I playoffs and finished 7-4.
Against Westland, Luke Jackson rushed for 82 yards and three touchdowns and the Pacers turned a 9-7 halftime advantage into a 23-7 lead in the third quarter, as Jahi Broussard-Nash scored on a 53-yard run and Jackson scored on a 19-yard run moments later after Delaware recovered the kickoff.
Through three games, Broussard-Nash had 228 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 39 carries to lead the Pacers, who finished 3-7 last season. Quarterback Blake Eiland had rushed for 202 yards on 52 carries and Jackson had 162 yards and three touchdowns on 50 carries.
Eiland was 21-for-34 passing for 258 yards with one interception, with Sam Lagando having eight receptions for 77 yards.
Delaware continues OCC-Cardinal play Friday, Sept. 21, at Dublin Scioto.
Scioto was 2-1 before opening league play against Dublin Jerome on Sept. 14. The Irish rolled past St. Charles 56-7 in their opener Aug. 24, lost to New Albany 37-21 on Aug. 30 and edged Big Walnut 28-26 on Sept. 7.
Running back Pete Hrelec rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown against Big Walnut.
Scioto runs a spread offense, led by quarterback Kyron Rogers, who had completed 32 of 68 passes for 505 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions through three games. Hrelec had 233 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 41 carries and wide receiver Tobias Thomas had 15 catches for 180 yards and three scores.
"We expect a good game every time we take the field against OCC foes, and Scioto is no different," Wetzel said. "Karl Johnson is a good coach who will have his kids ready to play. They'll be coming off a big rivalry game against Jerome, so it'll be interesting."
Scioto defeated the Pacers 10-0 last season.
Boys soccer team shows improvement
The boys soccer team is starting to put the pieces together under first-year coach Robb Morgan.
The Pacers were 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Thomas Worthington on Sept. 13. But it wasn't the wins and losses that Morgan was eyeing in the first half of the season.
"I tend to focus on our development, what we're doing well and where we need to improve," said Morgan, whose team had to replace nine starters from a year ago. "It's the same philosophy we have about scouting our opponents. We don't do that (in the regular season). We just want to take care of ourselves and, if we're doing the things the right way and doing what we need to do, we'll have a chance to win. It's up to us to make the right plays and right decisions."
The Pacers entered their home game against Thomas coming off a 4-2 win over visiting Groveport on Sept. 11. Max Draper had two goals and Kyle Klumpp and Briggy Kannally each scored one against the Cruisers. Two of the goals were on penalty kicks, one by Draper and the other by Kannally.
"The quality of play is improving and we're seeing guys adjust to the changes we've made strategically, becoming more possession-style of soccer," Morgan said. "We're seeing a lot of different players contribute and step up and that's very satisfying. They're committed to seeing this through."
In the league, the Pacers defeated Hilliard Darby 1-0 on Aug. 28 and lost to Scioto 3-0 on Sept. 4. They will play host to Hilliard Bradley on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
"We've got some parity in the league and that's exciting for us," Morgan said. "Every league game is important. I don't think anyone is going to run away with the title, but we'll see how things work out. I think a lot of teams believe they'll be right in the mix. We're not in awe of anyone. We just want to go out there and play to our ability and see what happens."
Boys golfers place fourth in league
The boys golf team finished 18-10 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament to place fourth, behind Jerome (28-0), Berlin (23-5) and Bradley (19-9) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (9-19), Darby (8-20), Thomas (6-22) and Scioto (1-27).
In the final round Sept. 12 at Denison Golf Club, the Pacers shot a 338 to finish behind Jerome (288), Berlin (320) and Bradley (334) and ahead of Kilbourne (340), Darby (353), Thomas (364) and Scioto (389).
Delaware finished five strokes shy of placing third in the final league standings.
Luke Gazarek led the Pacers in the final round with a 77, followed by Mark Sulek (86), Brady Gazarek (87), Colin Bibler (88) and Jake Ross (89).
Luke Gazarek averaged 78.8 in the tournament to earn second-team all-league honors, while Sulek (81.3) made honorable mention.
The Pacers will spend the next two weeks preparing for the postseason, which begins Oct. 2 with a Division I sectional. The tournament draw is Sunday, Sept. 16.
Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 22 -- Celtic Clash at Dublin Jerome
Sept. 17 -- Delaware County Cup at Royal American
Sept. 22 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills
Sept. 24 -- OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders
Sept. 18 -- Thomas Worthington at Mentel Memorial
Sept. 19 -- Dublin Scioto and Olentangy Orange at Oakhaven
*Sept. 18 -- At Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 22 -- At Fairbanks
*Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 22 -- Home vs. Watkins Memorial
*Sept. 18 -- At Hilliard Darby
Sept. 19 -- At Jonathan Alder
*Sept. 18 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby. The Pacers beat the Panthers 25-17, 23-25, 25-16, 26-24 on Aug. 21.
Sept. 22 -- Home vs. Delaware Christian