Big Walnut: Golden Eagles look to keep OCC title hopes alive

SCOTT GERFEN
ThisWeekSPORTS.com
Grant Coulson and Big Walnut will visit Westerville North on Friday, Sept. 25, for a key OCC-Capital Division game.

Big Walnut travels to Westerville North on Friday, Sept. 25, for a game that will have a big impact on the OCC-Capital Division standings.

The Golden Eagles and Warriors are both 3-1 overall and 3-1 in the league, tied with Dublin Scioto behind first-place and undefeated Westerville South (4-0, 4-0). 

Both Big Walnut and North — which are meeting for the first time — feature strong running games.

Caden Williams rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries in Big Walnut’s 31-0 victory against visiting Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 18.

A week earlier when Williams was held out with an injury, Gordon Rond led the way with 207 yards on 28 carries in a 35-6 win over Franklin Heights on Sept. 11. 

“Gordon is obviously more than a serviceable running back,” Big Walnut coach Rob Page said about Rond, who also starts at linebacker. “He has good vision, he’s tough to tackle and he gets yards after contact. He’s really locked in and he gets the most out of himself.”

North, which defeated Canal Winchester 21-7 on Sept. 18, relies heavily on seniors Brennan Albertini and Sylvester Bockarie. They share the workload for North’s ground game and also start at linebacker.

Bockarie has 573 yards and three touchdowns on 103 carries. Albertini has 37 carries for 151 yards and three scores, two of which came against South in a 32-28 loss Sept. 11.

“I was thinking (the carries) would be more half and half but either way works,” Bockarie said. “It’s important to me. I have a big role on this team and I have to keep doing this moving forward.”

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WEEK 5

BIG WALNUT at WESTERVILLE NORTH

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Big Walnut (3-1 overall, 3-1 in OCC-Capital) to date: Defeated Delaware 14-6; lost to Westerville South 50-41; def. Franklin Heights 35-6; def. Worthington Kilbourne 31-0

•North (3-1 overall, 3-1 in OCC-Capital) to date: Def. Franklin Heights 17-0; def. Delaware 24-7; lost to South 32-28; def. Canal Winchester 21-7

•Top Golden Eagles: Zach Barnecut (WR/DB), Jagger Barnett (QB), Sam Fortney (WR/DB), Brady Hershberger (WR/DB), A.J. Leasure (TE/LB), Mark Ruffing (OL/DL), Mahlon Spangler (OL/DL), Gage Sutton (TE/DL), Cole Wecker (OL/DL) and Caden Williams (RB/DE)

•Top Warriors: Brennan Albertini (RB/LB), Sylvester Bockarie (RB/LB), Wyatt Buxton (QB), Coby Darlington (WR/DB), Nathan Dunfee (OL/DL), Mitchell Gillam (OL/DL), Mohammed Nasser (OL/DL), Ty O’Hearn (WR/DB/LS) and Reuben Simiyu (OL/DL)