In their first game of the 2023 season, the Delta Eagles received the opening kickoff and started to gain momentum. But then, first-year starting quarterback, junior Bronson Edwards, fired an interception near the endzone, which was returned to midfield.
“I think it was mainly my mindset because, after that first pick, it kind of looked like everything was just going downhill,” Edwards said.
On the next play, Muncie Central senior starting quarterback Leo Boyd launched a 63-yard touchdown pass, which was his first in a varsity game.
The convocation of Eagle fans went silent.
But that didn’t last long as Delta would score 35 straight points and take the season opener 35-14.
“This is kind of expected, to come out and compete and play hard,” Delta head coach Chris Overholt said. “We felt like we got called out 195 days ago, and it was a very public call-out… And I feel like, at the end of the day, our strength and conditioning program put us over the top.”
Yet before the comeback could begin, Edwards threw another pass that was tipped and intercepted. To the Bearcats’ credit, Overholt was impressed with how their defense was able to rattle the new starter.
“I think Bronson needed to get hit a little bit in a varsity game,” he said. “...[Muncie Central] ran a combination of packages that kind of gave us some problems with protection. So we had to do some things, but also be smart about the football.”
While the Eagles struggled with the passing game early on, the run game was the complete opposite. Delta made their first appearance on the scoreboard when junior running back Nolan Carpenter found the end zone with a goal-line touchdown run.
However, Carpenter didn't stop there. Last season, he only recorded two touchdowns due to an injury. And after last night’s game, he has already ascended that number as he would pound his way for four rushing touchdowns.
“It's amazing [to perform that well],” Carpenter said. “We got some things to figure out offensively and defensively. But definitely a great first game.”
After a few of his touchdowns, he lay on the turf to stretch. He was aided at that time with his jar of pickles.
“Actual pickles and mustard packets help me not cramp,” he said. “I still had some problems [tonight with cramping]. But we’ll figure that out.”
After starting with the two interceptions, Edwards started to settle in. He finished the game going 15-for-25 with 182 yards. But one of his biggest highlights was throwing his first varsity touchdown pass to senior receiver D’Amare Hood in the fourth quarter.
“I saw that they hadn't pressed because there was no safety over the top,” Edwards said. “So I thought I had to throw it.”
But his first game as Delta’s starting quarterback is more special than you think. After the game, he took a picture with his family. His father is a coach for the Eagles, and his brothers, who also help coach the team, suited up for the blue and gold.
“It means a lot,” he said. “That’s all I have to say. It just means a lot.”
Besides another touchdown pass from Boyd, the Bearcats could do nothing when the clock hit zero.
Carpenter led the Eagles with 125 rushing yards. He was followed by senior Jayleon Jones with two runs that went for 66 yards.
“Jayleon was out last season with an injury,” Overholt said. “... It’s not about quantity, it's about quality. Our offensive staff says that all the time. He's the guy that might touch it four or five times, but he's gonna gut you.”
For the Bearcats first-time starter, Boyd went 9-for-18 with two touchdown passes and one interception.
The Eagles will travel to Norwell for week two.
Other scores around the county included Yorktown defeating Anderson 55-6 and Wes-Del falling to Alexandria 49-12. More can be found about those games in this Sunday’s roundup for Delaware County sports.
Contact Zach Carter with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X @ZachCarter85.