The Big Walnut boys varsity football team got off to a great start on the road at New Albany on Oct. 12. On the first play from scrimmage on the opening offensive drive, quarterback Jagger Barnett threw a beautiful pass to a striding Nathan Montgomery for an 80-yard touchdown strike. Placekicker Caleb Meade made the point after for a 7-0 BW lead.
The play was so good that local station 10TV selected it as one of the three top plays of the week. It not only caught New Albany’s defense off guard, it even surprised some of the late arrivals in the visiting bleachers. At that point, not even the announcer could dampen the fans’ enthusiasm when he said air horns were not allowed. The person who brought the air horn refrained from using it again, but whenever BW made a good play, he would bellow, “Air horn!” to the surrounding fans delight.
Yet there were dark clouds over on the New Albany side of the field, and not long after that early score, it brought a steady drizzle, enough to make you get your rain gear on but not enough to flee the stands. Those who did stay the whole game were drenched.
The next time Big Walnut got the ball, they seemed to be driving well until stalled by a penalty. Afterwards, it was difficult for them to get anything going, and the home team capitalized.
A minute into the second quarter, quarterback Gabe Owusu-Antwi connected on a 30-yard TD pass to Alex Cox, with Grant Rogers tacking on the PAT to square the game at 7-7. A couple minutes later, Owusu-Antwi ran 13 yards for another score. With five minutes to go, Michiah Burton burst free for an 89-yard scoring scamper.
Instead of taking a knee with less than a minute in the half, Brody Kidwell recovered a Big Walnut fumble on the Eagles’ 21-yard-line and ran it in. The kick was no good, and the score at halftime stood 27-7 in favor of New Albany, as the rain continued and visiting fans began to trickle out.
In the third quarter, Owusu-Antwi threw a 6-yard pass to Patrick Gurd and Burton added a 12-yard run to start the running clock and end the scoring at 41-7.
Caden Williams was the defensive standout for Big Walnut, recording 8 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. On special teams, Jakob Daniels had 3 kickoff returns for 52 yards, and Dominic Zappitelli had a 16-yard punt return.