The Pickerington High School North football team likely failed to clinch its second consecutive Division I, Region 3 playoff berth as host Grove City upset the Panthers 35-25 on Friday in an OCC-Ohio Division contest.

The Pickerington High School North football team likely failed to clinch its second consecutive Division I, Region 3 playoff berth as host Grove City upset the Panthers 35-25 on Friday in an OCC-Ohio Division contest.

Completing their first season since 2008, the Dawgs gathered near midfield after the game and celebrated their biggest win of the season. Grove City finished 4-6 overall and 4-3 in the OCC-Ohio. North fell to 6-4 and 4-3 and was projected to finish ninth in the region's computer ratings.

The top eight teams in each region make the playoffs.

"Through all the adversity after everything that happened this season, I'm so proud for our seniors to go out on top and come away with a win on this field," Grove City coach Matt Jordan said. "It's really a springboard for us going into next season."

Grove City had 435 total yards and received a significant contribution from running back Ryan Barbari, who rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Barbari's 2-yard touchdown run to give the Dawgs a 28-17 lead with 8:31 remaining in third quarter proved to be the winning score. The touchdown was set up by a 42-yard run by Barbari on the previous play.

It looked as if North might take control early on.

North scored on its opening possession as Tyler Ebright made a 32-yard field goal.

Grove City took the lead early in the second quarter, as the Dawgs' defense found the end zone. Defensive back Tyler Emmelhainz intercepted North quarterback Zach Olszewski and returned it 35 yards to make it 7-3.

"That was probably the biggest play of the game," Jordan said. (Emmelhainz) made a great play."

North responded on its next possession, capping a six-play, 79-yard drive with a 28-yard touchdown run by Olszewski.

In a game that featured multiple lead changes, the Grove City offense responded with a touchdown drive of its own, with Barbari scoring on a 14-yard run.

North trimmed the Grove City lead to 28-25 with 6:30 remaining on an 84-yard touchdown pass from Olszewski to Gabe Nimmons.

Grove City improved to 4-0 all-time against North, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.



PICKERINGTON NORTH 3 14 0 8 -- 25

GROVE CITY 0 21 7 7 -- 35


PN--Ebright 32 FG

GC--Emmelhainz 35 interception return (Nankevell kick)

PN--Olszewski 28 run (Ebright kick)

GC--Barbari 14 run (Nankevell kick)

GC--Smurthwaite 11 run (Nankevell kick)

PN--Ballentine 52 pass from Olszewski (Ebright kick)

GC--Barbari 2 run (Nankevell kick)

PN--Nimmons 84 pass from Olszewski (Olszewski run)

GC--Fisher 1 run (Nankevell kick)