Orange hangs 10-0 OCC gridiron loss on Golden Eagles
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
The Golden Eagles’ game was no where to be found …
Olentangy Orange, combining the running of seniors Larry Rode and Michael Forbes with an opportunistic defense, shut out Big Walnut 10–0 in an Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division matchup on a cold and rainy Friday night at Golden Eagle Stadium.
Rode and Forbes were the story the game for the Pioneers. Running behind a dominating front line, they combined to rush for 198 yards as Orange (5–4, 3–3 OCC) finished with 205 yards in total offense.
Rode, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound back, collected 127 yards in 29 carries and tallied the game’s lone touchdown. He scored on an 8-yard run with 3:29 left in the first period following senior Joshua Parker’s interception at the Pioneer 47 that gave Orange a first down on the Golden Eagles’ 22 yard line.
Forbes, a 5–7, 210-pound hard-nosed running back, finished with 71 yards in 24 attempts.
Orange’s only other score, a 34-yard fourth-quarter field goal, by senior Mitchell Hopkins concluded the game’s scoring with 5:29 to play.
Big Walnut (5–4, 3–3 OCC) struggled to finish with 146 yards in total offense, netting only 60 yards on 25 carries and 86 yards through the air on senior quarterback Carson Chatterton’s 10-for-23 completion ratio which included numerous dropped passes.
Senior Adam Shaheen had 4 catches for 31 yards, Myers 3 for 32 yards and senior Gabe Kitchen 2 for 14 yards, Sophomore back Christian Johnson led the Golden Eagles on the ground with 39 yards in 10 carries. Chatterton added 17 yards in 12 tries.
“We couldn’t find our game against a good Orange team,” Big Walnut head coach Joe Weaver said. “The Pioneers did a good job controlling the line of scrimmage, especially on offense where we could never find our offensive rhythm. And some of the credit goes to Orange which played a solid game.”
Big Walnut was also plagued by untimely penalties which helped keep Pioneer drives alive or interrupted the flow of the Golden Eagles’ offense attack. The Golden Eagles drew 7 penalties for 87 yards.
The Golden Eagles crossed midfield only three times, the last time thanks to Seth Myers intercepting a Jacob Stier pass as the Big Walnut 42 and returning it to the Orange 27 late in the third quarter. But the series would end on downs four plays later at the Pioneer 21 — Big Walnut’s deepest penetration of the night.
“It was one of the nights where we could never get anything going,” Weaver said, “and when we did we could not convert key plays on offense, drew a penalty or turned the ball over.”
Big Walnut’s last series of the game fittingly ended on senior Kori Saunders’ interception of a Chatterton pass at the Pioneer 40-yard line.
The Golden Eagles put the wraps on the 2012 season Friday night in a 7:30 p.m. OCC Capital Division matchup at Franklin Heights. The Falcons (2–7, 0–6 OCC) dropped a 25–0 OCC decision to Delaware Hayes Friday night at Gauthier Field in Delaware.