The Olentangy Orange Pioneers went head to head with the Worthington Kilbourne Wolves on Friday, Aug. 25, and came out victorious with a score of 32-7.
The Pioneers struck first, scoring a touchdown partway through the first quarter on a 37 yard run, and kept the ball rolling with a safety soon after, bringing the score to 9-0. They would score once more in the first quarter, heading into the second with a 16-point lead over the Wolves.
Orange scored twice in the second quarter, once about halfway through and once again in the last minute – though they failed to make the extra point kick for this second touchdown. They ended the first half with 29 points, holding the Wolves scoreless.
The Pioneers’ only points in the third quarter would come from a field goal, and they were held scoreless for all of the fourth quarter. Worthington Kilbourne only managed to score at the very end of the fourth quarter, in the last minute of the game, preventing a shutout.
This week’s game was the Pioneers’ first of the season, and according to Head Coach Zebb Schroeder, the team’s senior leadership set the tone for the victory.
“We have a really mature team – our seniors specifically are fantastic, from middle school to now,” Schroeder said. “They’re the winners, and it’s been fun to coach a team with so many players that have that definite championship drive. We came out week one, our guys handled our business, and it was a strong showing against a fundamentally tough team. We didn’t play completely mistake free, but we made the plays we needed to in order to pull out the win.”
Schroeder said that the seniors’ influence extends past the field, and that this particular group is well prepared to take on the challenge.
“With our seniors, it starts in the weight room and in practice,” Schroeder said. “Our game is won Saturday through Thursday – everybody comes and watches on Friday, but the time in the weight room and the film room and in practice are really what sets our team up for success. And when our best players model that behavior, that’s absolutely setting us up for a strong season.”
Though the seniors may be impacting the team, Schroeder said that his new players also put on a strong showing.
“I was happy to see some of our young linemen get their first varsity experience – we did a really good job protecting the football, and we saw a lot of our newer players reach their full capabilities tonight,” Schroeder said.
The Pioneers’ next game is against the Bishop Watterson Eagles on Friday, Sept. 1. They will face off at Otterbein, starting at 7:30 PM.