Marcus Davis normally plays wide receiver for the Dublin Coffman High School football team, and those skills came in handy on the other side of the ball on Friday, Sept. 2.
Playing defensive back, the senior intercepted a pass from Westerville South quarterback Marcus Ball one yard into the end zone with 1 minute, 23 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. He returned the pickoff to the Coffman 45-yard line as the host Shamrocks secured a 27-14 victory.
"On that last play, I was able to anticipate the slant because they tipped it off," said Davis, who caught five passes for 94 yards and touchdowns of 18 and 10 yards. "I was able to get going down the sideline and I knew that we had done it."
South took a 14-13 lead one play into the fourth quarter when Ball hit Gary Brown with a 10-yard touchdown pass, but the Shamrocks scored on consecutive possessions to retake the lead and pull away. Davis caught a 10-yard score from James Walsh with 7:08 to play for a 20-14 lead before a defensive play helped Coffman extend its advantage.
Duncan VanDeCarr blocked a punt by South's Andrew Bonnell with 6:20 left and the Shamrocks' senior recovered on the Wildcats' 4-yard line. Walsh ran for a score one play later.
"When they got that second touchdown to take the lead, the seniors all got together and said we needed to make something happen," Davis said. "When (Duncan) blocked that punt, that had to be the play of the game, especially because we got that touchdown right after that."
The Shamrocks, who improved to 2-0, took a 13-0 lead on Davis' 18-yard touchdown reception from Walsh and Walsh's 1-yard scoring run with 6:58 left in the opening quarter. The extra point was blocked after the second touchdown.
"I'd say we were a little surprised to get off to a start like that," Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said. "We thought it was going to be a battle throughout the game and it turned out that they came back and took the lead when we missed opportunities."
South running back Daxton Cates rushed for 241 yards on 29 carries, scoring on an 88-yard run with 5:49 left in the first half.
"We're not good enough of a team to lose focus like we did," said coach Rocky Pentello, whose team dropped to 1-1. "We missed opportunities and we can't do that against good teams like Coffman."
Walsh finished 12-of-22 passing for 135 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, both by Ball. Daniel Chang, subbing for Bilal Williamson who was nursing a sprained ankle, rushed for 106 yards on 27 carries and Walsh added 49 yards on nine attempts.
Ball was 8-for-23 passing for 104 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Brown had four catches for 39 yards.
SOUTH 0 7 0 7 -- 21
COFFMAN 13 0 0 14 -- 27
C--M. Davis 18 pass from Walsh (Coffman kick)
C--Walsh 1 run (kick blocked)
S--Cates 88 run (Bonnell kick)
S--Brown 3 pass (Bonnell kick)
C--Walsh 4 run (Coffman kick)
C-- M. Davis 10 pass from Walsh (Coffman kick)