Eagles and Braves headline playoff opening weekend

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The Big Walnut football team couldn’t have had a better regular season, at least in terms of wins and losses.

The Golden Eagles have rarely been tested en route to an overall rating of 10-0. They won the OCC-Capital Division crown with a 7-0 record against opponents in the league, passing their opponents by almost four to one (453-125).

Big Walnut was so good, computers ranked them as the top team in the Region 7 playoffs, which are set to start tonight.

The Eagles’ payoff for such a successful season, you’d suppose, would be an opponent’s cinch. This is hardly the case, as they will host Olentangy (3-7), seeded 16th, in the first round tonight at 7 p.m.

“Olentangy are an extremely well-trained team who do a great job attacking you schematically in attack with a clear and thorough plan,” said Big Walnut coach Rob Page. “In defense, they force the teams to drive the ball and do not give up the big games. Their two defensive ends are exceptional players and excellent at stopping the run as well as the pass. “

The Braves were able to move the ball through the air, with sophomore quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer leading the show. Grunkemeyer completed 165 of his 242 passes for over 2,000 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The Eagles, meanwhile, have been dominant on the court as running back Nate Severs put up video game stats this fall. The sophomore rushed for a school record of 1,855 yards on 224 carries, or 8.2 yards on the fly. He also has 428 returning yards as the team’s top kick returner and a ridiculous 33 TDs, another school record.

Third seed Olentangy Berlin (8-2) will also make the Division II, Region 7 playoffs, which will host 14th seed Wooster (5-5) tonight at 7 p.m.

“Wooster has an explosive offense that can score on any play,” said Bears coach Mark Nori. “Defensively they give you different looks and have guys there to make plays. You absolutely must do your homework.

In Division I, Delaware Hayes and Olentangy Liberty will do their road shows for the Region 2 playoffs. The 16th-seeded Pacers (3-7) will face seeded Marysville (9-0) while the Patriots, 10th seed (5-5), will travel to Dublin Jerome, seventh seed (6-4).

“We’re excited to be in the playoffs,” said Hayes coach Scott Wetzel. “Marysville is excellent… maybe a yeoman’s job for us. However, we can practice an additional week. We are going through a playoff week. There are a lot of teams that have returned their equipment… we still use ours. “

Big Walnut’s Christian Takatch (90) and Lucas Tindall (40) led the team on the field in one game earlier this season. The 10-0 and seeded Golden Eagles open the playoffs with a home game against Olentangy. The kick is set for tonight at 7 p.m.

Bears, Pacers, Patriots also in action


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