Darby Football comes to a close in round 1 of the Playoffs
It was an exciting moment when Darby football won their last game of the regular season against Dublin Scioto and made it to the playoffs. The Panthers edged out Reynoldsburg by only 0.05 playoff points. Darby, the number eight seed, went on to play number one, Centerville, who has arguably the best defense in the state.
Going into the game, the Panthers knew that it would be a tough game and they would have to play hard the whole time. Two players that have been out for a decent portion of the season came back to play: Clint Barnett and Blake Sawicki. However, the injuries would still be the toughest adversity they would have to overcome that night, with seven starters injured going into the week 10 game and two more injured that night.
Senior Captain Paul Dillion knew that the injuries were overwhelming, and that everyone had to play even harder because of them.
“It is the most injuries to ever happen in Darby Football. But the boys just got to step up and go to work,” Dillion said.
During the first half the panthers played their hardest. They had a strong start when they gained 20 yards and were stopped on the two yard line by the Elks. On the very next play the Elks pushed them back, the Panthers fumbled on the seven yard line and the Elks recovered it. The Elk’s offense was good, but the Panther defense came to play. Darby intercepted on the two yard line but the offense could not push through Centerville’s defense and they had to punt from inside their own one yard line. To end off the first quarter with no scores Elks fumbled on the 29 but recovered.
The second quarter started off as a good sign for the Panthers when the Elks threw an incomplete pass in the endzone on fourth down, giving Darby the ball. Unfortunately, halfway through the quarter the Elks scored the first touchdown of the game and got the extra point, making the score 7-0 with 6:15 left in the second quarter.
The second half was a rough one for Darby. The defense was tired from playing a hard first half and Centerville was just getting started with their first touchdown in the second quarter. Centerville had a harder first half than they expected and came out ready to fight in the second half, which is exactly what they did. The Elks scored twice in the third quarter putting the score at 21-0. The Panthers went into the fourth quarter hoping to gain some yardage and get a touchdown so it would not be a complete shut out. Unfortunately, Centerville was just too good and scored two more touchdowns, making the final score a hard 35-0.
The game was a hard one for the Panthers, but despite the score, the Panthers played a good game. Defense played hard and they were playing the number one team in the state, so a difficult game was expected. Offense could not gain more than 15 yards after the first play because the Centerville defense was gridlocked and the Elks were just too fast. However, Dillion still appreciated his last game as a Darby Panther.
“ It didn’t go the way I wanted it to but when I look to my left and my right there were a lot of emotions on the field that night and it was a great experience,” Dillion said.
The Darby football season came to a close on Friday, November 3rd, but it capped off a great season for the Panthers.