Hilliard Darby at Dublin Jerome: Panthers, Celtics look to keep momentum entering playoffs

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Dublin Jerome's Jack Soehner brings down Olentangy Berlin's Nick Tiberio during a game Sept. 18.

With both teams coming off wins in Week 5, Hilliard Darby and Dublin Jerome will look to keep the momentum going heading into the playoffs when the Panthers visit the Celtics on Friday, Oct. 2. 

Following consecutive losses to Olentangy Berlin (48-41 on Sept. 11) and Olentangy (37-6 on Sept. 18), the Panthers got back into the win column with a 35-14 victory over visiting Thomas Worthington on Sept. 25 to improve to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division. 

The Panthers finished with 398 yards of total offense, as quarterback Blake Horvath ran 16 times for 191 yards and four touchdowns in Darby’s wing-T attack and also completed six of eight passes for 35 yards and another score. 

James Hakes added 66 yards on 16 carries for the Panthers, who limited Thomas to 177 yards. 

“They’re really good. (Darby coach John Santagata) does a fantastic job, and those kids are very physical and tough,” Jerome coach Bob Gecewich said. “This league’s hard to prepare for. There’s a different type of offense every week. I don’t know if you slow them down. You just teach assignment football and hope that you’re in the right places at the right time and you make plays.” 

After falling 31-12 at Marysville on Sept. 11 and 38-27 to Berlin on Sept. 18, the Celtics rebounded with a 27-16 victory at Olentangy to improve to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal. 

It was the first league loss for the Braves, who are tied with Marysville for first at 3-1. Those teams play Friday, Oct. 2 at Marysville to decide the title.

Jerome quarterback Ryan Miller completed 15 of 19 passes for 202 yards and carried 14 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns against Olentangy. 

Preston Everhart finished with 63 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns and added two receptions for 55 yards, while David Adolph caught seven passes for 87 yards. 

“I think Dublin Jerome is a very good football team,” Santagata said. “Obviously, they showed it last week against Olentangy, which is also a good football team. For us to be in this game we have to limit mistakes. 

“They like to throw the ball deep, so we have to make sure we don’t allow any deep plays. We have to eliminate mistakes in the special teams, and offensively, we have to consistently move the ball both running and passing. We can’t be one dimensional.” 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

WEEK 6

HILLIARD DARBY at DUBLIN JEROME   

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2  

•Last meeting: 2019, Dublin Jerome 24-6 

•Darby (2-3 overall, 2-2 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Lost to Hilliard Davidson 17-13; def. Marysville 31-28; lost to Olentangy Berlin 48-41; lost to Olentangy 37-6; def. Thomas Worthington 35-14

•Jerome (2-3 overall, 2-2 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Lost to Dublin Coffman 41-6; defeated Thomas Worthington 56-21; lost to Marysville 31-12; lost to Olentangy Berlin 38-27; def. Olentangy 27-16

•Top Panthers: Jake Baird (WR/DB), Blayne Barnes (TE/DL), Sam Donnelly (OL/DL), James Hakes (RB/LB), Blake Horvath (QB/DB), Connor Jones (RB/LB), Kole Kendall (OL/DL), Luke Manche (RB/LB), Ben Marsh (RB/LB), Bradley Weaver (TE/DL), Eric Williams (WR/DB)  

•Top Celtics: Carter Barco (WR/DB), Addi Blair (LB), Princeton Doss (LB), Preston Everhart (RB), Kyler LaRosa (OL/DL), Seth Martin (WR/DB), Ryan Miller (QB/DB) and Cole Welch (DB)