Colin McNay just let his instincts take over when his Olentangy Orange football team needed it the most.
The junior defensive back broke up a pass intended for Westerville Central receiver Jace Jarvis from quarterback Judah Holtzclaw in the end zone with 18 seconds left as the host Pioneers held on for a 14-6 win Oct. 17 in OCC-Buckeye Division play.
The Pioneers improve to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in the league, while the Warhawks dropped to 6-2 and 1-2.
“I was playing the run and saw (Jarvis) go deep,” McNay said. “I dropped back and let my instincts take over. I saw (Jarvis’) eyes on the ball and I was able to reach up and knock it away. This was a huge win against a really, really good team.”
Central, which started its final drive on its own 24, had a first down at the Orange 11 with 30 seconds left when linebackers Zach Hill and Evan Leist teamed to sack Holtzclaw for a 6-yard loss.
“We were blitzing off the weak edge and I was on the outside with Zach inside,” said Leist, who had 10.5 tackles in the game. “We got there at the same time and just gang-tackled him.”
Hill said it was a perfectly timed blitz.
“We hadn’t blitzed very much in the second half,” said Hill, who finished the game with 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks. “We knew they were going to pass, and we were able to get to (Holtzclaw).”
Orange never trailed, scoring on a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Spencer Hawkins to Jake Vanchieri with 5:09 left in the first quarter.
Holtzclaw hit Luke Swaney on a 29-yard touchdown pass with 4:54 left in the first half, but the Warhawks failed to get off the extra-point attempt because of a high snap.
Holtzclaw was 21-for-44 passing for 188 yards with a touchdown and an interception, Myles Williamson rushed for 146 yards on 27 carries and Swaney had seven receptions for 89 yards and a score as Central held a 394-267 edge in total yards.
Vanchieri rushed for 94 yards on 22 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown with 1:55 left in the third quarter that extended Orange’s lead to 14-6.
Hawkins was 11-for-23 passing for 154 yards and a touchdown, Caden Konczak had five receptions for 97 yards and a 56-yard kickoff return and Zane Lattig caught three passes for 44 yards.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final WESTERVILLE CENTRAL 0 6 0 0 6 OLENTANGY ORANGE
7 0 7 0 14
OO—Vanchieri 4 pass from Hawkins (Behre kick)
WC—Swaney 29 pass from Holtzclaw (run failed)
OO—Vanchieri 5 run (Behre kick)