Led by senior Tyler Grassman, the Gahanna Lincoln High School football team defeated DeSales 31-14 in the season opener Friday, Aug. 26.
Grassman had a 1-yard rushing touchdown, threw 5 yards to tight end Kevin Mosley for a score and caught a 35-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Alec Tuohy.
Grassman also made all four of Gahanna's extra-point attempts and his 20-yard field goal gave the Lions a 3-0 first-quarter lead.
DeSales then scored on touchdown runs of 61 yards by J.T. Blubaugh and 19 yards by Warren Ball to lead 14-3 at the half. Blubaugh's score came on a fake punt.
The Lions regained the lead late at 17-14 in the third quarter when Grassman connected with Mosley.
"It was awesome," Grassman said. "I didn't expect to play quarterback at all, and honestly didn't expect to play much receiver either. I just wanted to do everything I could to help my team tonight and I feel I did do everything I could."
Grassman had replaced Tuohy, who had suffered an injury earlier in the drive and didn't return. Tuohy completed 13 of 16 passes for 118 yards.
Tuohy also rushed for 70 yards on 16 carries.
"I love these kids," Gahanna coach John Snoad said. "They are just an amazing group.
"They made the choice at halftime. They decided it was going to be a different outcome."
Gahanna had 380 yards of offense, and DeSales had 197.
"Our defense was just outstanding," Snoad said. "To beat DeSales you beat a quality program. This is a great win for Gahanna, a great win for our program and an amazing win for these kids."
The Gahanna defense forced DeSales to punt on its first three drives of the second half to set the stage for the comeback.
"They were able to beat us up front overall, and I think that was the difference," DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. "The first possession of the half was important, and we lose yardage and give them field position. I just thought up front we couldn't stop them. We just didn't put ourselves in good situations."
Ball, who has committed to Ohio State, had only 23 yards rushing on 12 carries.
GAHANNA 3 0 14 14 -- 31
DeSALES 0 14 0 0 -- 14
G--Grassman 20 FG
D--Blubaugh 61 run (Ciammaichella kick)
D--Ball 19 run (Ciammaichella kick)
G--Grassman 35 pass from Tuohy (Grassman kick)
G--Mosley 5 pass from Grassman (Grassman kick)
G--Mitchell 1 run (Grassman kick)
G--Grassman 1 run (Grassman kick)