In a tight game, Olentangy Orange football coach Zebb Schroeder went to a steady hand when it mattered the most.
Schroeder called the number of his quarterback — Spencer Hawkins — on a fourth-and-1 play to salt away the victory as the Pioneers held off visiting Hilliard Bradley 17-14 on Sept. 6.
Hawkins dove ahead for 1 yard to the Bradley 36-yard line with 15 seconds remaining as the Pioneers improved to 2-0.
“When you play close games like this against one of the best teams in the area, it comes down to the little things,” Schroeder said. “Spencer had a great game. He had his ups and downs, but he was our third back tonight and got the yards when we needed them."
Hawkins was 17-for-31 passing for 185 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The senior also rushed 14 times for 43 yards.
“I thought we would get it,” Hawkins said of the fourth-down run. “Everyone did their job, especially the line. The line moved everyone and allowed me to get through.”
Orange scored twice in the second quarter to take a 14-0 halftime lead. Jake Vanchieri had a 2-yard scoring run and Sam Wyne caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Hawkins.
Bradley, which fell to 0-2, cut the deficit to 14-7 on a 3-yard run by Evan Yee early in the fourth.
The Jaguars seemed to have the momentum in the fourth quarter until fumbling at their own 30 with 5:34 left. Orange linebacker Eli Payne made the recovery, setting up a 30-yard field goal by Jack Behre with 2:16 remaining.
Although Bradley scored again with 1:26 left on Yee’s 2-yard run, the Pioneers were able to run out the clock.
Orange’s Zane Lattig had eight receptions for 68 yards and Wyne had three catches for 52 yards.
Bradley quarterback A.J. Mirgon was 11-for-21 passing for 145 yards and ran 21 times for 102 yards. Also for the Jaguars, Yee rushed 16 times for 62 yards, Ethan Poff had five catches for 80 yards and Jack Pugh had three receptions for 46 yards.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final HILLIARD BRADLEY 0 0 0 14 14 OLENTANGY ORANGE
0 14 0 3 17
OO—Vanchieri 2 run (Behre kick)
OO—Wyne 33 pass from Hawkins (Behre kick)
HB—Yee 3 run (Wahlenmaier kick)
OO—Behre 30 FG
HB—Yee 2 run (Wahlenmaier kick)