Two years ago, the Hilliard Bradley High School football team sewed up its first league championship and first playoff berth with a Week 10 victory.
When the Jaguars play host to Delaware on Friday, Oct. 26, they will be looking for their second consecutive outright OCC-Cardinal Division championship -- they already have secured at least a share of their third league title in a row -- as well as their third consecutive playoff berth.
Bradley improved to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Cardinal with a 48-10 win over Worthington Kilbourne on Oct. 19 and has won 15 consecutive league games. The Jaguars were projected to be fifth in Division I, Region 3 this week. The top eight teams in the region qualify for the playoffs, with the top four earning first-round home games.
"We want to win the OCC(-Cardinal title) outright, which is always important," coach Mike LoParo said. "We want to finish strong and get as good of a playoff spot as we can. We are in such a tough region."
Delaware is 6-3 overall and 3-3 in the league after losing to Darby 31-28 on Oct. 19. The Pacers were projected to be 10th in Division I, Region 2 this week. To have any chance at making the playoffs, they must beat the Jaguars.
Delaware had 304 total yards against Darby, including 203 on the ground.
Quarterback Blake Eiland was 14-for-25 passing for 101 yards with two touchdowns and one interception and rushed for 112 yards on 23 carries. Warren Clasen added 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just four carries.
"They are pretty balanced," LoParo said. "Their quarterback runs and throws the ball pretty well and they have decent size across the front. They run a mix of wing-T and spread, and they have done a good job of winning the line of scrimmage."
The Jaguars amassed 433 total yards against Kilbourne, led by quarterback Griffin Veil, who was 16-for-25 passing for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
Evan Yee (15 carries, 90 yards, 2 TDs) and Jack Richards (12 carries, 17 yards, 2 TDs) led Bradley's ground game, while Trey Warner caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown and Jack Duffer had six receptions for 81 yards and one score.
"Bradley spreads the field and makes things tough on you," Delaware coach Scott Wetzel said. "Hopefully, we're up to the challenge and we want to take everything one game at a time. That's been our approach all year."
Luke Erwin had two interceptions against Kilbourne to help lead the Bradley defense, including one that he returned 54 yards for a touchdown. Cameron Bordner also had an interception against the Wolves.
"I think we're playing pretty good football right now," LoParo said. "Our defense is getting takeaways and scoring, and our offense has been playing well despite it raining for the past couple of games. We're playing well, and we have continue to do that and keep getting better."