The Gahanna Lincoln High School football team opened OCC-Ohio Division play in style, scoring the first five times it had the ball and cruising to a 54-3 win over host Newark at White Field on Friday, Sept. 16.
The Lions, who improved to 3-1 overall, held the Wildcats to minus-15 total yards in the first half and to 62 overall. Newark moved 40-plus yards in its final possession, on the strength of a fake-punt pass completion, before a turnover with under 30 seconds remaining.
“There’s no secret that we’re fast and I think we showed that tonight against Newark,” Gahanna coach John Snoad said. “We’re experienced up front and we got pressure on a good, young quarterback and then we didn’t allow them to run wide.
“I thought our nose guard, Granyl Smith, caused them trouble and played a strong first half. Plus, we got to work on a bunch of our coverages against a spread passing game.”
On offense, Geoff Helms scored all three times he touched the ball. He ran for 26 yards to cap a 66-yard opening drive, then followed with 10- and 9-yard scoring runs as the Lions built a 21-0 lead on 12 snaps.
Quarterback Tyler Grassman then got in on the action, going 40 yards to cap a four-play, 65-yard drive. Sante Cook ran 65 yards to make it 35-0 on the second play of the second quarter.
“We’re not as experienced up front on offense, but that group is jelling and doing a wonderful job,” Snoad said. “We’re executing, playing seriously and running hard like we should.”
Newark — which didn’t register a first down until the final five minutes of the first half — was the beneficiary of a double-penalty that gave the Wildcats the ball on Gahanna’s 11. Unable to move the ball, Tyler Griffith kicked a 30-yard field goal to account for all of Newark’s points.
But Gahanna scored moments later on Aaron Roberson’s 22-yard run to make it 41-3 at halftime.
Dante Carroll (6 yards) and Tank Davis (24 yards) added touchdown runs in the second half, as 14 Lions had at least one rushing attempt. Grassman (four carries, 65 yards) led the way, followed by Cook (one carry, 64 yards), Roberson (eight carries, 59 yards) and Carroll (eight carries, 57 yards).
“We’ve got to make plays. We’re not tackling and blocking,” said Newark coach Gregg Forsythe, whose team fell to 0-4. “We’re in position defensively to make some plays and we’re not getting it done. We can’t simulate their speed in practice and that makes it difficult. Offensively, we need to put the ball in the end zone some.”
GAHANNA 28 13 6 7 -- 54
NEWARK 0 3 0 0 -- 3
G--Helms 26 run (Grassman kick)
G--Helms 10 run (Grassman kick)
G--Helms 9 run (Grassman kick)
G--Grassman 40 run (Grassman kick)
G--Cook 64 run (Grassman kick)
N--Griffith 30 FG
G--Roberson 22 run (kick failed)
G--Carroll 6 run (run failed)
G--Davis 24 run (Capuano kick)