The Pickerington High School North football team beat visiting Grove City 52-12 on Friday, Oct. 28, but it appeared the victory would not be enough to get the Panthers into the playoffs.
According to projections, North finished ninth in Division I, Region 3, one spot from the postseason.
The Panthers improved to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division, while the Dawgs finished 3-7 and 2-5.
The Panthers, led by senior quarterback Zach Olszewski and running backs Godwin Igwebuike and Alston Robertson, totaled 555 yards of offense.
"I'm just happy to see the seniors go out and we're walking off the field with a smile," North coach Tom Phillips said. "They had a great game and they had a great season. I've said it several times: out of 12 weeks of competition (including preseason scrimmages) we probably had one bad week. These kids came 11 out of the 12 and it wasn't good enough this year. You know, we're 8-2 and we're probably going to be home."
The 8-2 record was the best mark in program history.
"We've got a lot of kids coming back and winning this last game, hopefully, we'll have a great offseason," Phillips said.
As for the game itself, the Panthers opened the scoring with an Igwebuike 3-yard run with 3 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first quarter. A little more than two minutes later, Robertson rushed for a 44-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
The Panthers' Zach Monhollen kicked an 18-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
North put the Dawgs away with five touchdowns in the third quarter. Olszewski scored the first one on a 3-yard run. Three plays later, a Nick Davis pass was intercepted by Olszewski deep in Grove City territory, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by senior offensive lineman Pat Elflein.
The Panthers finished their scoring on a 10-yard run by Igwebuike, a 40-yard interception return by Mason Olszewski and Robertson's 26-yard run with 4 seconds left in the third quarter.
Grove City scored in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run by Cameron Meece and a 4-yard run by Jake Sayers.
"I thought we came out and we played with a lot of passion and enthusiasm, but we had a lot of things we shot ourselves in the foot with," Grove City coach Matt Jordan said. "And then in the second half it kind of just spun out of control and we couldn't stop it."
GROVE CITY 0 0 0 12 -- 12
PICKERINGTON NORTH -- 14 3 35 0 -- 52
PN--Igwebuike 3 run (Monhollen kick)
PN--Robertson 44 run (Monhollen kick)
PN--Monhollen 18 FG
PN--Z. Olszewski 3 run (Monhollen kick)
PN--Elflein 2 run (Monhollen kick)
PN--Igwebuike 10 run (Monhollen kick)
PN--M. Olszewski 40 interception return (Holland kick)
PN--Robertson 26 run (Monhollen kick)
GC--Meece 3 run (pass failed)
GC-Sayers 4 run (kick failed)