Golden Eagle football wraps up 2012 with 31-13 road win at Frankin Heights
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
COLUMBUS — In what coach Joe Weaver called an all-around solid team effort, Big Walnut closed out its 2012 season with a 31–13 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division victory over Franklin Heights on a wet and windy Friday night.
“Our seniors turned in a winning performance in closing out their careers … and give our returning players a positive step into next season,” Weaver said after watching his Golden Eagles close out 6–4 overall and 4–3 in the OCC Capital. “We had contributions from our phase of our game from our offense, to our special team play as well as from our defense.”
Franklin Heights (2–8, 0–7 OCC) drew first blood on sophomore Mitch Kittinger’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5:21 left in the first quarter. The Golden Falcons’ score was set up by junior linebacker Evan Jones’ interception of a Carson Chatterton pass which Jones returned 60 yards to the Big Walnut 14-yard line.
Big Walnut was quick to respond, taking the Golden Falcon kickoff and driving 80 yards in 9 plays with senior running back Alex Clark going in for six from 34 yards out to tie the game at 7-all with 2:06 left in the opening period.
The Golden Eagles, outgaining Franklin Heights 239 to 53 in the first half, would dominate the remainder of the opening half as Chatterton got payback for the interception with a tackle-breaking 49-yard touchdown run to break the 7–7 deadlock with 4:34 left in second quarter. Senior defensive back Seth Myers followed with an 85-yard return of a Ray Spangler punt for a touchdown and a 21–7 halftime lead. Myers ended the half by picking off a Spangler pass to thwart Franklin Heights drive at the Big Walnut 34.
The Golden Falcons gave their fans hope to open the second half as Kittinger took the kickoff and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown to pull within eight of the lead at 21–13 14 seconds into the half, but Big Walnut answered as Chatterton tossed a 29-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Adam Shaheen 32 seconds later as the Golden Eagles extended their lead to 28–13 with 11:14 left in the third period.
On Franklin Heights’ next possession, Big Walnut’s defense set up the game’s final score as senior linebacker Parker Marsch recovered a Spangle fumble at the Golden Falcon 30 yard line with 9:58 remaining in the third period, five plays later sophomore kicker Tyler Satterfield booted a 25-yard field goal for a 31–13 lead with 7:58 left in the third period.
With the rain increasing in intensity and the temperature falling and both teams substituting freely, the remaining 19:58 was played without a score by either side.
For the game, Big Walnut totaled 272 yards and 11 first downs in 51 plays. Franklin Heights finished with 91 yards and 8 first down in 46 plays. The Golden Eagles rushed for 234 yards in 40 attempts while completing 4 of 11 passes for 38 yards. The Golden Falcons picked up 88 yards in 42 carries while netting only 3 yards on 4 of 7 pass completions. The Eagles drew 6 penalties for 55 yards compared to to 4 for 60 yards for the Falcons. Franklin Heights had possession of the ball for 24 minutes and 38 seconds compared to Big Walnut’s 23:22.