The Gahanna Lincoln High School football team had four turnovers in the first half of its OCC-Ohio Division opener on Sept. 14 against visiting Groveport, but still led 10-0 at the break.
The Lions held on to the ball in the second half, however, and they rolled to a 38-14 victory over the Cruisers to improve to 4-0. Groveport dropped to 1-3.
Gahanna quarterback Alec Tuohy, who threw two interceptions in the first half, finished 12-for-25 passing for 137 yards and one touchdown and also carried 13 times for 78 yards.
Lions running back Valquez ‘Tank’ Davis carried eight times for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 73 yards and another touchdown.
Geoffrey Helms carried 12 times for 60 yards and one touchdown.
“We played flat tonight and didn’t come out fired up and that’s on me,” Gahanna coach John Snoad said. “We were inconsistent, but you’re going to have games like these. Groveport will be a good team, but we know we’ll have to play better than that if we want to make a run in the OCC.”
“We were prepared, but came out flat,” Tuohy said. “The defense played solid, and then in the second half the offense came out fired up and believed in each other and then did what we had to do in the second half.”
Gahanna finished with 339 total yards on offense.
The Cruisers scored twice on long pass plays. Markell Davis caught a 73-yard pass from Wesley Fearing early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 17-7, and Isiah Green caught a 62-yard pass from Mecca Swain late in the fourth quarter.
Fearing and Swain both saw action at quarterback for the Cruisers. Fearing passed for 118 yards and rushed for 30 yards, and Swain threw for 65 yards and ran for 38 yards.
The Lions turned the ball over four times in the first half and had only 105 total yards, failing to take advantage of favorable field position after Groveport averaged 21.3 yards per punt before the break.
Davis ran for a 1-yard touchdown for the first score with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter, and Colin Blaney made it 10-0 with a 19-yard field goal as time expired in the half.
“In the first half, we weren’t fired up,” Davis said. “In the second half, we got after each other and then got things going.”
The Lions made it 17-0 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Davis. The Gahanna defense then forced two Groveport fumbles in the fourth quarter, turning both into touchdowns. Davis caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Tuohy early in the quarter to give the Lions a 24-7 lead. Helms ran for a 9-yard score to put the Lions up 31-7 with 6:58 remaining.
Gahanna blocked a punt late in the game and Ben Foley fell on the ball in the end zone to close the scoring.
G--Davis 1 run (Blaney kick)
G--Blaney 19 FG
G--Davis 6 run (Blaney kick)
GP--Davis 73 pass from Fearing (Mathias kick)
G--Davis 23 pass from Tuohy (Blaney kick)
G--Helms 9 run (Blaney kick)
GP--Green 62 pass from Swain (Mathias kick)
G--Foley fumble recovery in end zone (Fernandes kick)