The Canal Winchester High School football team celebrated homecoming on Friday, Oct. 7, with a 19-7 victory over Hamilton Township.
The Indians improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Buckeye Division, while Hamilton Township fell to 3-4 and 1-3.
The Indians finished with 209 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 43 carries. What began as a defensive struggle in the first half was wedged open in the second half by the play of Indians running back Jaquan Ransome and quarterback Alex Fox.
The Indians scored the only points of the first half when Fox threw an 11-yard pass to David Hawkins with 1 minute, 1 second left in the half.
With 8:58 to go in the third quarter, Fox ran a zone read play and outran the Hamilton Township defense, which bit on the fake to Ransome, for a 69-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 13-0.
Hamilton Township was able to get on the board with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter when quarterback Zach Thompson led the Rangers on a nine-play drive, which ended with a 43-yard pass to Aaron Williams to cut the deficit to 13-7.
The Rangers were driving midway through the fourth quarter when they faced a fourth-and-2 on the Indians' 31, but Thompson’s pass fell incomplete.
From there, the Indians orchestrated a 10-play, 69-yard drive that was capped by Ransome’s 5-yard run that put the game out of reach.
Canal Winchester coach Shawn Hinkle could not be happier with his offense.
"Jaquan ran the ball very, very hard,” he said. “He picked his holes correctly and he's a kid that shows up every day ready to go, and he's a kid I'm very, very proud of."
Hinkle also acknowledged the effort of the Indians' defense in setting the tone early and coming up big on the fourth-down play.
"The defense has been phenomenal all season long," he said. "They have never let us down. They've always been there and, quite honestly, the defense is the strength of our team. Everybody knows that and they showed up and got the job done again this evening."
Hamilton Township coach Nathan Hillerich also had reason to be proud of his defense for its early stops. However, when asked to explain how the game got away in the second half, he gave credit to the talent of his opponent.
"It’s not that they did anything different. ... They've got quite a few guys, not just one, that at any time can make a big play,” he said. “They've got a lot of great playmakers and a couple times they just made a few plays that, you know, we didn't make."
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP 0 0 7 0 -- 7
CANAL WINCHESTER 0 6 7 6 – 19
CW--Hawkins 11 pass from Fox (kick failed)
CW--Fox 69 run (Ising kick)
HT--Williams 43 pass from Thompson (Crumley kick)
CW--Ransome 5 run (kick failed)