Its offense didn’t produce the game’s longest touchdown, but the Pickerington High School Central football team scored on a pair of big second-half plays and beat visiting Reynoldsburg 28-17 on Sept. 27.
The Tigers rallied from a 10-point deficit to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
Reynoldsburg scored on its first play from scrimmage when quarterback Jordan Aekins hit Demetrius Givens for a 78-yard touchdown but managed just one other touchdown as the Raiders fell to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
“They came out with their ‘A’ game and we just overwhelmed them with our run in the second half,” senior running back and linebacker Isaiah Richmond said. “It feels really, really good to get this win and win the battle of (Route) 256.”
The Raiders — who have lost 12 in a row to Central — made it 10-0 on a 25-yard field goal by Jordan Watkins with 9 minutes, 1 second left in the first half.
Central answered on the ensuing drive, however, by going 73 yards on 12 plays as Richmond scored on a 2-yard run to cut it to 10-7.
The Tigers also scored on their first possession of the third quarter, as Richmond ran for a 35-yard touchdown.
They then took a 21-10 lead with 4:58 to go in the third quarter when Colby Simkins hit Eric Johnson for a 29-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers began the possession at their own 46 after a botched snap on a fake punt by the Raiders.
Reynoldsburg cut it to 21-17 with 10:58 left when David Moore ran for a 7-yard touchdown, but the Tigers sealed the game on the ensuing possession by going 81 yards on nine plays.
Richmond ran for a 1-yard touchdown to cap the final drive, but the big plays were a 36-yard catch by Cris Reyes and a 23-yard run by Simkins.
“We don’t get rattled,” Simkins said. “Our offense just goes down and takes care of business.”
Richmond rushed 15 times for 106 yards. Simkins had 90 yards rushing on 12 carries and passed for 110 yards.
Reynoldsburg running back David Moore ran 30 times for 134 yards, but Aekins passed for just 56 yards after the long touchdown completion.
“We had some drive killers and some penalties,” Raiders coach Buddy White said.
R -- Givens 78 pass from Aekins (Watkins kick)
R -- Watkins 25 FG
PC -- Richmond 2 run (McMillin kick)
PC -- Richmond 35 run (McMillin kick)
PC -- Johnson 29 pass from Simkins (McMillin kick)
R -- Moore 7 run (Watkins kick)
PC -- Richmond 1 run (McMillin kick)