A dilemma lies ahead for coach Mark Crabtree and the Dublin Coffman High School football team.
The 13th-seeded Shamrocks face fifth-seeded Huber Heights Wayne at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in the second round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs at Kettering Fairmont.
Which phase of the Warriors' high-powered offense should the Coffman defense make its focus? The choice isn't an easy one with Wayne averaging 38.4 points with a balanced attack.
"We're going to have to make a decision on what to take away, because when you go out and try to stop everything, you usually won't stop anything," said Crabtree, whose team improved to 8-3 by defeating fourth-seeded and host Centerville 42-14 on Nov. 9 in a first-round game. "Most teams go into a game wanting to stop their opponent from running the ball, but that's sometimes easier said than done."
The Warriors are 10-1 overall and led by junior quarterback D'Mitrik Trice, who has completed 221 of 349 passes for 2,680 yards with 34 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was 19-for-31 for 256 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions on Nov. 9 in a 37-7 first-round home victory over 12th-seeded Hilliard Darby.
"(Trice) is certainly a good enough runner to hurt you and he does a great job of throwing the ball on the move," Crabtree said. "It's definitely a challenge."
Trice's top target is senior wide receiver Tristan Davis, who has 74 catches for 1,056 yards and 16 touchdowns. He had five receptions for 84 yards and two scores against Darby.
Junior wide receiver Chad Swanson has 49 catches for 536 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman running back Matt Wilcox has 30 catches for 430 yards and five touchdowns.
"They have a pretty dynamic offense with a good quarterback and good receivers. They move the ball around efficiently," senior defensive back Clay Raterman said. "We need to have a strong defensive effort and force turnovers, plus have an offense that goes on long drives and make the most of our possessions."
Senior running back Trey McFadden leads the Warriors with 839 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns, but against Darby he watched from the sideline while wearing a walking boot. McFadden also has 24 receptions for 329 yards and five scores.
Senior running back Kenny Bester filled in against Darby, gaining 127 yards with two touchdowns on 27 carries. He has 761 rushing yards and nine touchdowns this season.
Against Centerville, the Coffman defense forced four turnovers and converted all of them into touchdowns while taking a 35-0 halftime lead. Senior defensive back Tyler Jester and senior linebacker Dalton Maynard both had interceptions and senior defensive lineman Jordan O'Dell and junior defensive lineman Drew DeNoble both had fumble recoveries.
Junior running back Dre Kendrick rushed for 240 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries, including 156 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries in the first half.
Junior quarterback Ben Beckett also connected with junior wide receiver Shaun Rankin on a 13-yard touchdown pass.
"We went out (against Centerville) knowing it was do-or-die and wanted to make the most of it out there on the field," Raterman said. "We had a big first half defensively and were able to control the game against (the Elks') good triple-option offense."