Thirteen plays. That was all that the high-powered offense of the Dublin Coffman High School football team could manage in the first half on Friday, Oct. 7, in an OCC-Central Division game against Hilliard Darby.
That was all that the high-powered offense of the Dublin Coffman High School football team could manage in the first half on Friday, Oct. 7, in an OCC-Central Division game against Hilliard Darby.
That was three plays less than Darby had on its game-opening touchdown drive.
But the host Shamrocks set the tone in the second half with a 17-play drive to take the lead for good in a 20-10 victory.
"I didn't know what to say at halftime," said Coffman coach Mark Crabtree, whose team improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central. "We had 13 plays, and we really didn't know enough to really make any judgments as to what we were doing right and wrong. We just know that (Darby) was keeping us off the field."
Darby, which fell to 5-2 and 1-2, took nearly eight minutes off the clock with seven first downs in a 16-play, 77-yard drive ending with a 4-yard keeper by quarterback Chase Longwell with 4 minutes, 12 seconds left in the first quarter.
"We came out and we were able to establish the run and we also were able to complete a few passes for some balance," Darby coach John Santagata said. "We worked really hard to prepare this week after the way we had played (in a 33-0 loss to Upper Arlington) last week."
The Panthers had 13 first downs in the first half with the Shamrocks having only two.
"(Defensive coordinator) coach (Curtis) Crager told us to go out there and play the way that they taught us," said Coffman defensive lineman Miles McCollum, who had two sacks and a fumble recovery. "We had to make sure we stayed with our man."
Despite limited time on the field, the Shamrocks trailed only 10-7 at halftime. On their first drive of the game, they went 75 yards in four plays thanks to a 71-yard run by Bilal Williamson. The junior running back finished the drive with a 3-yard run with 3:05 left in the first quarter.
Longwell, who finished with 95 yards rushing on 20 carries, had a 46-yard run on the second drive, which concluded with a 24-yard field goal by Kyle Kaplan on the opening play of the second quarter.
"We were playing our option defense, but we were missing their keys," Coffman defensive back Taylor Williams said. "We went back to our base defense and played a lot better. That was a big difference for us."
That, as well as a confidence-building drive to start the second half. The Shamrocks went 60 yards in 17 plays, converting a pair of fourth downs along the way, to wrestle momentum away from the Panthers.
The drive's longest plays were an 8-yard pass from junior quarterback James Walsh to senior wide receiver Marcus Davis and an 8-yard run by Walsh. Williamson, who rushed for 106 yards on 19 carries, finally found the end zone with a 5-yard run with 6:04 left in the third.
"That was what changed it," said Walsh, referring to his team's opening drive of the second half. "It showed that we can go down and score on a long, sustained drive like that. And it helped that we converted two fourth-down plays."
Grant Coffman added field goals of 38 and 34 yards to give the Shamrocks more of a cushion.
After throwing for 1,091 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first six games, Walsh was 11 of 19 for 78 yards with no touchdowns.
Longwell was 8-for-14 passing for 112 yards. Caleb Day caught six passes for 96 yards.
HILLIARD DARBY 7 3 0 0 -- 10
DUBLIN COFFMAN 7 0 10 3 -- 20
HD--Longwell 4 run (Kaplan kick)
DC--Williamson 3 run (Coffman kick)
HD--Kaplan 24 FG
DC--Williamson 5 run (Coffman kick)
DC--Coffman 38 FG
DC--Coffman 34 FG