Between injuries and seniority, Osbourn running back Cedrick Delaney did not see the field much last season, not when he had to vie for touches with All-Met Dominique Terrell (now at Virginia), second-team All-Met Lucky Whitehead (junior college) and Timmy Keith (Western Michigan).
It seemed like he heard some variation of “Your time will come” about as often as he heard, “Hi, Cedrick.”
Delaney’s time is now, and the wait has been worth it both for him and the Eagles. The senior rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns Thursday night in a 28-21 home win over Battlefield, a game that pitted the two teams that had claimed the past six Virginia AAA Cedar Run District titles and teams that had each won Northwest Region titles last year.
Delaney, now with 19 touchdowns this season, scored two in each half, the last one from 24 yards out with six minutes left.
The wait now is not for playing time, but for a college offer.
“I was standing back just waiting to get my shine on,” said the 5-foot-9, 162-pound Delaney, who got nine touches on a 12-1 Osbourn team last year but now has 809 yards and 16 touchdowns his last five games. “We got the wins, so I didn’t worry about getting the ball that much. I kept the right head so I wouldn’t get mad or anything like that.”
“He’s earned this,” Osbourn Coach Steve Schultze said. “It’s really exciting to see. In my mind, he’s a scholarship kid who’s underneath the radar. He doesn’t say two cents. Ced’s a quiet kid, but he’s just a great leader.”
Delaney also was a starting guard on the Osbourn basketball team that went 24-3 and reached the Virginia AAA state quarterfinals last year for the first time.
Neither team led by more than a touchdown Thursday night. Delaney scored on a 15-yard run early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 21, but Battlefield answered with senior Michael Tolliver’s second touchdown with 7 minutes 58 seconds to play. Delaney’s game winner came on an end-around play to the left side.
On Battlefield’s next, and last, possession, Osbourn senior defensive lineman Frankie Wilson chased down junior quarterback Ryan Swingle for a sack on third down, and a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
Swingle, who helped lead the Bobcats (5-2, 1-1) to the Division 6 title last year, completed 10 of 17 passes for 273 yards, 137 worth to junior Trent Saflin, including a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Battlefield had one costly turnover, a fumble inside the Osbourn 5-yard line late in the first half after mounting a drive from its own 1. Osbourn senior linebacker Jason Yarbrough recovered it.
It was a crucial play in a series whose last five games have been determined by a total of 17 points.
“I’m sure the yardage when I look at the statistics aren’t going to be very glorious,” Schultze said. “But there were key moments and key times when our defense really stiffened up.”