Two weeks ago, the Olentangy Berlin football team had never won a league game. Now, the Bears are 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division entering their contest Friday, Oct. 4, at Hilliard Darby.
Berlin is 3-2 overall following a 28-20 victory over Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 27. Darby also is 3-2 overall, but it dropped to 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal after losing to Dublin Jerome 24-6 on Sept. 27.
"We're trying to take it one game at a time and one week at a time," Berlin coach Mark Nori said. "We're trying to find a way to not have a halftime meltdown to get us to regroup in the second half."
In both of their league victories, the Bears needed big rallies to turn the tide in their favor. They needed a 22-point fourth quarter to rush past Delaware 32-21 on Sept. 20 and trailed the Wolves 20-7 in the third before scoring 21 consecutive points to secure the win.
Bennett Lawrence returned an interception 38 yards for a score with 2 minutes, 6 seconds left against Kilbourne to give his team an eight-point lead.
Johnny Spinner rushed for 85 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries, and Jacob Moeller was 12-for-27 passing for 171 yards with one score and one interception. Moeller also rushed for 31 yards and one touchdown on seven carries.
Jack Nebraska caught four passes for 82 yards and a score, and Corey Hill had three receptions for 44 yards.
"They are a growing school, they have good athletes and they are doing a really good job," Darby coach John Santagata said. "I think they are a good football team that's well-coached, and they have shown that over the last couple weeks."
The Panthers committed three turnovers against Jerome, which had just one. Connor Jones intercepted a pass in the first quarter, returning it 70 yards for Darby's lone score.
"We're getting some kids back from injury and that should help," Santagata said. "Evan Grose is a two-way starter for us at running back and defensive back, and Ben Marsh is a pivotal backup kid who helps us a lot on special teams."
Jones rushed for 93 yards on 11 carries against Jerome, and quarterback Jack Stultz added 64 yards on 10 carries. Stultz was 3-for-9 passing for 32 yards.
"You can't fall asleep on them," Nori said. "They will have some 1- or 2-yard plays and then bust out a 55-yard run. You have to play them hard on every snap or they will make you pay."