The Hilliard Darby football team had a more unified approach against Thomas Worthington on Oct. 11 and coach John Santagata would like to see that continue when the Panthers visit Worthington Kilbourne on Friday, Oct. 18.
The Panthers improved to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division with a 35-7 win at Thomas. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak.
"That was probably our best team outing so far this year," Santagata said. "We reduced the number of mistakes. We seemed like we were all on the same page. And the goal is to continue to progress as we go into (this) week and finish the season."
Kilbourne is coming off a 30-14 loss to Dublin Scioto on Oct. 11 that dropped it to 1-6 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Cardinal.
"I think Kilbourne is better than their record," Santagata said. "I think their offense is scoring a lot of points. I think they have a tremendous punter (Mitchell Tomasek). He can kick the ball far on a punt and change the field position. I think it's important for us to win that kicking game as best as possible."
The Panthers amassed 290 yards rushing on 53 carries against Thomas. Connor Jones had 80 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, Erik Williams rushed for 67 yards on eight carries and Evan Grose added 53 yards on 10 carries.
The addition of freshman fullback Ben Marsh could help the Panthers going forward. Marsh spelled Jones at fullback against the Cardinals, rushing for 36 yards on eight carries.
In addition to playing fullback, Jones plays linebacker and also handles the punting duties for the Panthers. He also had a 41-yard catch against Thomas to lead the team in receiving.
"Connor is a tremendous player," Santagata said. "He's got a Division I (scholarship) offer from Bowling Green and I'm sure many more to come. We brought in Ben Marsh ... and he did a tremendous job. Just from his play there, I think we can be a better offense."
Tomasek also starts at quarterback for Kilbourne and was 29-for-46 passing for 308 yards and two touchdowns against Scioto. Marcus Hodge caught eight passes for 107 yards and a touchdown and Duncan Selph had 90 yards and a score on five catches.