It was a big opening statement for the Delta Eagles Friday night in a 63-0 rout of the Jay County Patriots. And yet what you took away at the end was that it could have been even worse. Delta led 25-0 at the half then would run away with 38 points in the second half including three touchdowns in the 3rd quarter. A new quarterback (Ryley Pease), new starting running back (Zach Mills), and new wide receiver (Mitchell Hahn) combined for 6 touchdowns in the winning effort.
You can’t start a game better than a opening kick off run back. Well, that’s what Zach Mills did. The preseason praise and excitement was seen in game action just 13 seconds into the contest as Mills ran back the opening kick off 84 yards to the house. 7-0 Delta. No scoring would occur the rest of the first quarter. However, the second quarter started with a bang after a recovered fumble in the end zone from Delta’s LB Caleb Mills (brother of Zach). A missed extra point made it 13-0. The Delta defense turned over Jay County on a interception from LB Logan Clawson. Then the weird really occurred. RB Zach Mills threw a 67 yard touchdown to his QB Ryley Pease who out ran the defense on a designed RB pass. It worked to perfection. It was 19-0 after another missed extra point. By the feeling was Delta had too much talent for Jay County, which was easily the case. In all facets of the game, Delta dominated. Quite frankly they should have, and they did.
So what did we learn on Friday night? Zach Mills is as good as advertised. 148 yards rushing, 2 rushing touchdowns, a kickoff return for a touchdown, and a passing touchdown. That wasn’t too surprising. He showed those abilities last year. Two things stood out more. That was the chemistry developing from QB Ryley Pease and WR Mitchell Hahn. Pease threw nine times with all five completions coming to Hahn who caught those five balls for 189 yards for a per catch average of 37 yards. That was not there last year. A constant passing attack. Secondly, at least on Friday night, the defense was dominant stopping the run. Jay County presenting a challenging task with three running backs all having the ability to bust a big run. That never happened on Friday night. That was a very positive sign.
So Delta is good? Clearly yes. How good? Much better than they showed on Friday night…scary enough. Delta faces Shenandoah next week on the road to try for a 2-0 start.