Solid defense and a steady running game helped carry the visiting Columbus Academy football team to a 42-14 victory over Bexley in an MSL-Ohio Division contest on Oct. 6.
The Vikings improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio, while the Lions fell to 4-3 and 1-3.
“I’m so happy for our guys,” said Academy running back R.J. Watters, who rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns. “We went out there and got it done. That’s all we could ask for.”
With the win, the Vikings retained possession of the Mayor-Headmaster Trophy for the third consecutive season. Academy has outscored the Lions 123-31 in the last three meetings.
On Bexley's second play from scrimmage, quarterback Jalen Robinette appeared to score on a 94-yard run, but a holding penalty nullified most of the yardage on the play and the ball was placed at the Academy 33. The drive ended up stalling, as the Lions turned the ball over on downs.
“I would guess that in three out of the last four games, Jalen has had about 200 yards of offense wiped out by penalties,” Bexley coach John Smith said. “You just can’t do that against these teams and be successful.”
Robinette scored on a 5-yard run on Bexley’s second possession to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 3 minutes, 7 seconds left in the first quarter. Robinette had 69 of his team-high 97 yards rushing and 48 of his 56 yards passing on Bexley's first two drives. Academy held the Lions' offense in check the rest of the game.
In the second half, Bexley was held to 67 yards rushing and two of its three possessions ended with interceptions.
“Controlling (Robinette) was the key for us,” Academy coach Jim Collis said. “When he made that first run, I thought this could be a long night. I don’t think you can stop a kid like that, but we limited the number of touches that he had in open space.”
The Vikings' offense ran the ball effectively and passed the ball efficiently. In addition to Watters' performance, running back Jared Harris rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and quarterback Jacob Wilson competed 12 of 17 passes for 158 yards with two touchdowns. Ben Bechtel caught both touchdown passes (34 and 7 yards).
“I’m not going to take anything away from Columbus Academy, but we missed a lot of tackles,” Smith said. “We had people in position, but we just didn’t make plays. That’s a testament to their running backs.”
COLUMBUS ACADEMY 7 14 7 14 -- 42
BEXLEY 7 0 0 7 -- 14
B--Robinette 5 run (Gingery kick)
CA--Bechtel 34 pass from Wilson (Wilson kick)
CA--Watters 2 run (Wilson kick)
CA--Harris 1 run (Wilson kick)
CA--Bechtel 7 pass from Wilson (Wilson kick)
CA--Harris 6 run (Wilson kick)
CA--Watters 6 run (Wilson kick)
B--Ward 1 run (Gingery kick)