Football Playoffs - Division I, Region 3 First Round

Pickerington Central 55, Dublin Coffman 14

Tigers roll past Shamrocks to set up rematch with Gahanna

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Pickerington Centrals Devone Penick (25) pulls away from the Coffman secondary for touchdown during the first round playoff game on Nov. 5th, 2011 at Pickerington Central High School. Pickerington Central went on to defeat Dublin Coffman by a score of 55-14.

The Pickerington High School Central football team routed visiting Dublin Coffman 55-14 in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The Tigers won their eighth consecutive game to improve to 8-2 and will face Gahanna in a regional semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 12. En route to winning the OCC-Ohio title, Central went on the road to beat Gahanna 28-7 on Sept. 30. The Lions opened the postseason by defeating Westerville Central 38-21.

“We came out clicking and I think we may have caught them a bit down after they lost a couple of games late in the season,” Central coach Jay Sharrett said. “Our quarterback (Nick Jensen-Clagg) threw the ball right where he had to, in tight spaces when he needed to, and we hit some big plays early to get a nice halftime lead.”

Central scored four touchdowns in the second quarter to go up 35-0 at the break over Coffman, which finished 8-3.

The Tigers hurt the Shamrocks with three big plays during that stretch, as Devone Penick scored on a 39-yard run, Jensen-Clagg threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to Roger Lewis and Billy Eakins scored on a 41-yard run.

Lewis also opened the second half with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

“We knew we had to make big plays to beat Coffman,” Lewis said. “We work very hard on special teams, because that’s what wins games. I used a burst of speed to get open on my touchdown catch and I got great blocking on my touchdown return.”

Penick, who rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, scored again on a 41-yard run to make it 42-0 with 10 minutes, 13 seconds left in the third quarter.

“My team gave me nice blocks downfield and made those touchdowns easy for me,” Penick said.

Jensen-Clagg was 6-for-7 passing for 166 yards, and Christian Whitner rushed for 96 yards — including a 78-yard touchdown — on four carries.

With senior wide receiver Marcus Davis out of the lineup for violating a team rule, Coffman struggled offensively.

Coffman quarterback James Walsh was 12-for-17 passing for 125 yards, and the Shamrocks rushed for only 100 yards on 35 carries.

“It was a dominant performance on their part,” Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said. “I don’t know that they’ve played a better game all year. Their offensive line is big and aggressive, and they dominated. Their running backs didn’t get touched until they were 5 yards downfield.”


DUBLIN COFFMAN 0 0 7 7 -- 14

PC--Kincaid 4 run (Raymond kick)

PC--Eakins 1 run (Raymond kick)

PC--Penick 39 run (Raymond kick)

PC--Lewis 81 pass from Jensen-Clagg (Raymond kick)

PC--Eakins 41 run (Raymond kick)

PC--Lewis 98 kickoff return (Raymond kick)

PC--Penick 41 run (Raymond kick)

DC--Flinders 15 fumble return (Coffman kick)

DC--Knisley 44 pass from Walsh (Coffman kick)

PC--Whitner 78 run (kick failed)