Football Week 1 Recap

Dublin Coffman 31, Olentangy Liberty 27

Walsh rallies Shamrocks past Patriots

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By Karen Carter/ThisWeek
Dublin Coffman's James Walsh tries to elude Olentangy Liberty defenders Matt Muntean (12), left, Matt Cuberly (56) and Robert Davis (1) during their Aug. 26 season opener at Coffman.

The Dublin Coffman High School football team's defense made a final stand and the Shamrocks rallied from 14 points down to beat visiting Olentangy Liberty 31-27 on Friday, Aug. 26.

Shamrocks defensive back Tre Scott intercepted a desperation pass from Patriots quarterback Joey Longhino with 5 seconds remaining to preserve the win.

Coffman junior quarterback James Walsh scored twice on 1-yard runs and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior Marcus Davis as the Shamrocks scored 24 consecutive third-quarter points to take a 31-14 lead with 2:27 left in the period.

"It was tough in that first quarter because we have a lot of first-year (varsity) players, including myself," said Walsh, who completed 18 of 30 passes for 220 yards. "I was nervous and I'm sure the rest of us were nervous, but we really got it going in the second half."

Liberty made it a little easier with a messy third quarter that included an interception, a fumble and a botched punt snap.

Coffman made the Patriots pay by scoring 17 of the 24 third-quarter points off turnovers.

"We did some things that really hurt us," Patriots coach Steve Hale said. "We're a young football team and we had had too many turnovers and penalties."

Longhino, making his first start, threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Motika with 4:29 left in the first quarter and a 3-yard TD pass to Carter Rudek to make it 14-0 with 11:25 remaining in the second quarter.

Longhino, who completed 28 of 40 passes for 246 yards, led a final drive in the fourth quarter that reached the Coffman 28, where he passed into the end zone and was intercepted by Scott.

Longhino's 8-yard TD pass to Bryson Wray cut the Shamrocks' lead to 31-21 with 9:20 left, and Myles Robinson scored on a 1-yard run with 4:31 to play to make it 31-27.

"It was ugly," Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said. "At the end there, I was thinking, 'Hurry up clock.' We tried to kill the clock the best we could. They did a good job of controlling the football and moving the chains."


LIBERTY 7 7 0 13 27

COFFMAN 0 7 24 0 31

OL -- Motika 39 pass from Longhino (Vucelich kick)

OL -- Rudek 3 pass from Longhino (Vucelich kick)

DC -- Williamson 3 run (Coffman kick)

DC -- Walsh 1 run (Coffman kick)

DC -- Coffman 26 FG

DC -- Walsh 1 run (Coffman kick)

DC -- Davis 35 pass from Walsh (Coffman kick)

OL -- Wray 8 pass from Longhino (Vucelich kick)

OL -- Robinson 1 run (pass fail)