Coffman football showing its might
Maybe Brian White wasn't playing possum.
"I don't think the teams are as evenly matched as they have been in the past," the Hilliard Davidson High School football coach said when discussing his team's game against Dublin Coffman on Sept. 14.
White usually has a poker face when underplaying his team's chances, but maybe the statement had more than a tinge of truth. The Wildcats were soundly beaten by host Coffman 33-10 to open the OCC-Central Division schedule.
Maybe it's time to give some love to the Shamrocks, who are unbeaten through four games. They not only feature a potent offense, but a defense that has shut down opponents.
Take, for example, Dublin Scioto. The Irish are 3-1, with their loss coming to the Shamrocks 34-14 on Aug. 31. In its three victories, Scioto has scored 133 points, including a 34-14 win over previously unbeaten Westerville Central on Sept. 14.
The Shamrocks have 15 starters back from last season and that has been apparent as they have outscored opponents 155-37. The Coffman defense is anchored up front by senior lineman Miles McCollum, at linebacker by senior Ian Flinders and in the secondary by junior Juan Jennings, who had two of his three interceptions this season against the Irish.
Up next for the Shamrocks is a trip to Marysville on Friday, Sept. 21, beginning a stretch of four opponents with losing records.
Coffman should be rolling when it plays Oct. 19 at Olentangy Liberty, which was 3-1 after beating Central Crossing 56-34 on Sept. 14.
Gales have been force against Tigers
It should be no surprise that Rob Carpenter's Lancaster squad gave Pickerington Central a run for its money Sept. 14. The Tigers' 14-10 victory gave them a 6-4 edge in the last 10 meetings against the Golden Gales.
Lancaster last won 17-14 in 2009, but a 2006 victory was one Central coach Jay Sharrett and company won't soon forget. The Tigers entered the game 4-0, having outscored opponents 146-17 with two shutouts, but Lancaster orchestrated a 24-10 upset for its third consecutive win in the series between the Fairfield County rivals. Central advanced to the Division II state final that season, losing to Piqua 26-7.
This year, Central was saved on defense as Nygel Hairston had two interceptions and recovered a fumble.
Maybe the Tigers were a little rusty coming off a bye. One thing's for sure, they need to be ready to play at Reynoldsburg on Friday, Sept. 21.
Bradley falls short against Jerome
Looking to go 4-0 for the first time, Bradley came up two points short of reaching that goal.
The Jaguars lost 28-26 at Dublin Jerome on Sept. 14 in their OCC-Cardinal opener after trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter.
Bradley had trouble keeping running back Donovan Wilson in check. The 6-foot, 210-pound senior possesses a combination of power and speed, both of which were on display in his 36 carries for 239 yards and a touchdown. The Georgia Tech recruit also took a screen pass from Jake King 81 yards for a touchdown.
"(Wilson) was tough, and (the Celtics) made the plays when they had to," Bradley coach Mike LoParo said. "We had our chances but didn't take advantage of some of our chances."
In its fourth season, Bradley also was looking to go 1-0 in league play for the first time. In their three previous seasons, the Jaguars lost to New Albany in the OCC-Capital opener.
"We can't let this (first loss) get us down," LoParo said. "We have a lot of football to play and we have to make every second count. You have to make every second count in practice, in class and throughout the day. That's important to us."
The Jaguars have a tall order ahead in unbeaten Westerville South at home Friday, Sept. 21. The Wildcats are averaging more than 43 points per game, with their lowest output coming last weekend in a 28-7 win over Worthington Kilbourne.
St. Charles starting to build momentum
After losing its opener to Pickerington North 50-22 on Aug. 24, St. Charles has won three in a row.
The Cardinals beat Eastmoor Academy 27-23 on Aug. 31, Beechcroft 20-18 on Sept. 7 and Toledo Rogers 41-0 on Sept. 14.
Dual-threat quarterback Ryan Bailey and hard-driving running back Sean Fitzmartin have proved to be a winning combination.
The Cardinals play at home Friday, Sept. 21, against the Columbus Crusaders before a CCL showdown at DeSales on Sept. 28. The last win for St. Charles against the Stallions came in 1976, in a 14-6 decision. That's 35 consecutive losses.
DeSales is 1-3 after losing to Union (Ky.) Ryle 21-10 on Sept. 14. This might be the season the Cardinals end that streak.
It has to happen sometime, and these Cardinals seem determined to finally break through that barrier.