The Gahanna Lincoln High School football team defeated host Reynoldsburg 33-0 on Friday, Oct. 21, to take another step toward making the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Gahanna was ranked eighth in Division I, Region 3 entering the game. The top eight teams from each region make the playoffs.
The Lions’ last playoff game was a 28-21 loss to Dublin Coffman in the first round in 2007.
Gahanna posted its second consecutive shutout and fourth of the season while improving to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
Reynoldsburg, which entered the game 11th in Division I, Region 3, fell to 6-3 and 4-2.
"The defense was lights out," Gahanna coach John Snoad said. "I'm extremely proud of the way we played defensively. We were really concerned about Kumar Collins running the ball on us and (Mykel) Traylor-Bennett, and we were able to neutralize them."
Gahanna held Reynoldsburg to 131 total yards and returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
Mitchell Rowell's 26-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter made it 20-0.
"They kept on driving across the middle," Rowell said. "Coach told me to watch out for it and I was just able to read the quarterback's eyes."
The Gahanna defense added another score late in the fourth quarter when defensive back Aaron Roberson returned an interception 70 yards.
"Overall it was an excellent job defensively," Snoad said. "It was our second straight shutout, so we're really excited about that."
Gahanna shut out Grove City 42-0 on Oct. 14 and has allowed only 14 points since a 28-7 loss to Pickerington Central on Sept. 30.
Gahanna quarterback Tyler Grassman connected with Julian Lowe for a 51-yard touchdown to open the scoring late in the first quarter. Grassman finished 10-for-19 for 190 yards and added a 4-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter.
Lowe had seven receptions for 171 yards. Rowell added a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Reynoldsburg struggled offensively as Collins gained only 62 yards on 19 carries. He came in averaging more than 100 yards rushing per game.
"They beat us at the line of scrimmage," Reynoldsburg coach Buddy White said. "They did a great job mixing up their defense, they confused our guys a little bit and we didn't do a great job reading what they were doing.”
Raiders quarterback Jordan Aekins was 8-for-22 passing for 66 yards and two interceptions.
GAHANNA 7 6 0 20 -- 33
REYNOLDSBURG 0 0 0 0 -- 0
G--Lowe 51 pass from Grassman (Grassman kick)
G--Grassman 4 run (kick failed)
G--Rowell 26 interception return (Grassman kick)
G--Rowell 1 run (kick failed)
G--Roberson 70 interception return (Grassman kick)