Big Walnut’s varsity football team fell to 0-3 on the season with a 33-14 loss to St. Charles on Friday night.
Although the Golden Eagles won the coin toss and elected to receive, things went south with a second down fumble. A quarterback sack by Sandy Smith had the Cardinals punting, but Walnut fumbled again. With the ball on the 19, Davionn Johnson rushed in for a touchdown on the next play. Clayton Anderson booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 9:36 in the first quarter.
A determined Big Walnut struck back quickly, with quarterback Tyler H. Ronk striking Evan Garcia with a 40-yard touchdown throw. Tyler Shuster tied the score at 7-7 with 8:09 to go in the first.
Next, St. Charles quarterback Brooks McCann connected on a long pass to Tanner Fix, setting up a 2-yard scamper by Johnson. The point after made the score St. Charles 14, Big Walnut 7 with 6:02 in the first.
That’s where the score remained, until the St. Charles cashed in a long, punishing drive with a 35-yard field goal by Anderson. At the half, it was a 17-7 Cardinals lead.
In the third, Johnson wiped out a 1st and 25-yards to go with two rushes. A steady diet of running had St. Charles at the 1 yard line, where McCann ran in for the touchdown. The extra point put St. Charles up 24-7 with 6:14 to go in the third.
Big Walnut responded with a long drive of their own, set up by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Cardinals. However, a goal line stand stopped the Eagles at the 2 yard line. That didn’t stop them, though — on a subsequent drive, David Hunt ran in from the 2 yard line for a touchdown, and Shuster got the point after to close the score to 24-14 with 8:17 left.
Another long drive by the Cardinals ended with a fourth down play from the 3 yard line, and a pressured McCann getting the ball to (we think) Jordan Burkey, who dove into the end zone with 4:04 to go. That’s how the referees called it, but refs sitting on the home team side didn’t think so. Even announcer Glenn Evans said, “Apparently, that’s a touchdown.”
Big Walnut got the ball back deep, and a quarterback slip in the end zone resulted in a safety with 3:55 to go for the final score of 33-14. Substitutes finished out the game.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.