Dublin Jerome at Olentangy: Undefeated Braves expect challenge from Celtics

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Olentangy quarterback Kaden Doup (1) celebrates a touchdown with offensive lineman Anthony DiMarzo during a game against Olentangy Berlin on Sept. 4.

As if Olentangy’s 4-0 record and No. 10 ranking in last week’s Division II state poll do not illustrate the Braves’ success to date, their versatility and defensive prowess just might.

After not having to rely on the pass in their first three wins, Braves quarterback Kaden Doup completed 13 of 15 passes for a season-high 219 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-6 win at Hilliard Darby on Sept. 18. 

Olentangy also forced four turnovers, three of which were fumbles, and is plus-9 in that category.

Braves coach Mark Solis expects a challenge for his defense on Friday, Sept. 25, when Olentangy plays host to Dublin Jerome in an OCC-Cardinal Division game. 

At 3-0 in the league, the Braves could clinch at least a tie for the league championship with a win.

“If there’s such a thing as a ‘good 1-3 team,’ it’s (Jerome),” Solis said. “Their quarterback (Ryan Miller) is collected and poised and throws the ball well. (Opponents’) passing games have been our Achilles’ heel. They play hard and that’s a reflection of their head coach’s (Bob Gecewich) personality. They run out of the spread, but they’re not afraid to play some smash-mouth.”

Jerome fell to 1-2 in the OCC-Cardinal with a 38-27 loss at Olentangy Berlin on Sept. 18.

Against Darby, Caleb Gossett had five catches for 148 yards and a touchdown and added a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half for Olentangy. Jace Middleton had three catches for 16 yards and two scores and had two fumble recoveries.

Gossett leads Olentangy’s receivers with 13 catches this season for 245 yards.

Celtics running back Preston Everhart had 22 carries for 215 yards and all four of his team’s touchdowns against Berlin.

According to Gecewich, the Celtics have not had the same starting lineup on either side of the ball in any two games this season.

“We still need to finish better and be more consistent,” Gecewich said. “Solis is one of the best coaches in Ohio. Schematically, they do things offensively that you don’t see … (such as) a lot of run-pass options and option-type things. They’re based on spread sets, but they do a little bit of everything. You get your eyes going one way, then they have other options to make you pay.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

WEEK 5

DUBLIN JEROME at OLENTANGY

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25

•Last meeting: 2011, Olentangy 42-17

•Jerome (1-3 overall, 1-2 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

•Olentangy (4-0 overall, 3-0 in OCC-Cardinal) to date: Def. Olentangy Orange 7-3; def. Berlin 45-33; def. Thomas 43-7; def. Hilliard Darby 37-6

•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)

•Top Braves: Kaden Doup (QB), Jason Feasel (OL/DL), T.J. Gadd (OL/DL), Caleb Gossett (WR/DB), Ethan Hand (TE/DL), Landon Johnson (RB/LB), Jace Middleton (WR/LB) and Toby Wilson (OL)