BW football comes up short against New Albany, 17-6
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
NEW ALBANY — The home-standing Eagles took a big step towards the 2012 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division championship Friday night at Eagle Stadium.
New Albany (6–2, 5–0 OCC) posted its fifth straight win with a 17–6 victory over Big Walnut (5–3, 3–2 OCC), a win which eliminated both the Golden Eagles and Mount Vernon (5–3, 3–2), a 21–14 loser to Delaware Hayes, from the title race. Olentangy (7–1, 4–1 OCC) remained in the hunt with a 42–0 win over Watkins Memorial in last night’s action.
Mark Mueller’s Eagles, following a 34-yard return by junior Joe Siegenthaler on the opening kickoff, marched 50 yards in seven plays with with junior Leslie Anokye capping the drive with a 2-yard scoring run with 9:10 left in the opening period. The touchdown was set by senior quarterback Darron Lee’s 16-yard scamper to the 4-yard line. Senior Trey Quillin tacked on the extra point.
Joe Weaver’s Golden Eagles, plagued by three dropped passes in the opening half, was not able to generate anything in the first half. New Albany, which controlled the ball for 16 minutes and 32 seconds in the half compared to Big Walnut’s 7:27, picked up 213 yards and 12 first downs in 37 plays compared to the Golden Eagles’ 64 yards and 4 first New Albany took a 10–0 lead into the locker room as Quillin booted a 32-yard field foal with 58.5 seconds remaining before the half.
“New Albany is a very good football team that has balance and is deep in talent,” Weaver said. “Out kids did not back down and continued to play hard … it came down to the fact that we could not sustain anything offensively when we had the ball.”
Big Walnut, seeking its fourth straight win, gave its fans a glimmer of hope, midway through the third quarter. Senior Cody Conley took the kickoff at the Golden Eagle 12 and returned it to the BW 27.
Following a personal foul on New Albany on the return which moved the ball to the BW 42, the Golden Eagles covered the final 58 yards in 12 plays with senior Alex Clark powering his way into the end zone from one yard out with 6:06 remaining in the third period to cut the Eagles’ lead to 10–6.
Senior quarterback Carson Chatterton’s 14-yard completion to senior tight end Brant Weiss for a first and goal at the one set up Conley’s scoring run. Sophomore Tyler Satterfield’s PAT attempt sailed wide left.
Big Walnut, after holding New Albany on downs at the Golden Eagle 28, was unable to mount another scoring threat. The Golden Eagles, sparked by sophomore Christian Johnson’s 17-yard run, saw their second series of the half end in a punt that was downed at the Eagles’ 5-yard line.
Looking at a third-and-1 at its own 16 following the punt, New Albany put the ball in the hands of senior Alan Watson who broke through the line on his way to an 75-yard scoring run and a 17–6 advantage with 5:02 to play.
The Golden Eagles saw their slim hopes dissipate on the first play of the ensuing series. Hoping to catch New Albany off guard, Chatterton pitched the ball to senior wide receiver Seth Myers on an option play, but Myers’ pass was picked off by Siegenthaler at the Eagles’ 33 and it was matter of New Albany running out the clock.
New Albany, which has won five of its last six meetings with Big Walnut, finished with 396 yards and 19 first downs in 64 plays in total offense. The Eagles rushed for 338 yards in 55 plays, led by Watson with 155 yards in 16 carries. Anokye followed with 81 yards in 17 carries. Lee, who rushed for 77 yards in 13 carries, completed 5 of 9 passes for 57 yards.
Big Walnut totaled 11 first downs and 156 yards in total offense, rushing for 117 yards in 25 carries and completing 5 of 13 passes for 39 yards. Chatterton led the Golden Eagles on the ground with 63 yards in 13 carries while completing 5 of 12 passes for 38 yards.
“Our defense gave us opportunities in the second half, but we were unable to take advantage and put points on the board … New Albany’s defense was equal to the challenge” Weaver said. “Our goal is to respond to the loss by coming back out and finishing strong in our last two regular season games of the season.”
Big Walnut closes out its home schedule Friday night with OCC Capital Division rival Olentangy Orange before wrapping up the regular season on the road Friday, October 26, in OCC action at Franklin Heights.