Delta football ended its 2022 season with a sectional loss to Yorktown as the Tigers stopped the Eagles at the one-yard line.
“[It was rough] losing to a team like that,” senior running back Kaiden Bond said. “But I knew the potential of our team was just through the roof.”
Before the Eagles began to prepare for this season, the seniors called a team meeting.
“They wanted to sit down and talk about expectations for the season,” Delta head coach Chris Overholt said. “They wanted the coaches to hold the team accountable, specifically themselves… It set the tone for everyone.”
That tone led the Eagles to defeat Garrett 21-15 on Friday night to win their first sectional championship since 2016.
“It’s big,” Overholt said. “The last couple of seasons we’ve battled through so much.”
The match at Garrett High School did not start the way Delta may have wanted. After multiple punts, the Eagles offensive rhythm seemed nonexistent. That is when they recovered a Garrett fumble, which gave them extra motivation.
After the turnover, Delta (8-4) marched down the field and found the end zone on a 30-yard touchdown run by Bond. He finished the game with 90 rushing yards.
“Every time I get the ball, I'm just trying to score,” Bond said. “I know the guys in front of me can block, so it's my job to score.”
On their next offensive drive, junior quarterback Bronson Edwards scored on a quarterback sneak. After halftime, the Eagles struck again with a 30-yard passing touchdown from Edwards to junior receiver Chase Ritchie.
Yet Delta wasn’t out of the woods as the Railroaders (6-6) turned up the intensity. Their run game plowed through Delta’s defense and scored their first touchdown of the night. They followed that with a 34-yard passing touchdown a few minutes later.
With the offensive success in the second half, both defenses had to step in. After a Garrett defender snagged an interception, the Railroaders began to drive down the field. However, Delta’s defense stepped in and forced a turnover on downs.
Though the Eagles stood tall and stopped their opponent, Delta could not move the ball and was forced to punt. This required its defense to take the field with 1:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. To junior linebacker Nash Keesling, the job was simple.
“Get them off the field and just play our best football like we always do,” Keesling said.
With thirty seconds left and no timeouts, junior quarterback Calder Hefty dropped back to pass on third down. He attempted to scramble to his left but was sacked by Delta sophomore linebacker Cole Mynett.
The Railroaders attempted to pass on fourth down. This time, a convocation of Eagles led by Keesling sacked Hefty, securing the sectional championship for the blue and gold.
“You had that [pressure] behind you, like ‘you got to go get him,” Keesling said.
With the win, the Eagles will face Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (12-0) in their regional game on Friday, Nov. 10, at Delta High School. Chatard, who won their sectional championship by defeating Hamilton Heights (11-1) 28-8, has not been beaten this season.
However, the Eagles are not concerned.
“We're not worried about the name on the front of the jersey,” Bond said. “We go out and play Delta football every day. We just go and run through people's faces.”
Contact Zach Carter with comments at email@example.com or on X@ZachCarter85.