The Pickerington High School Central football team rallied in the fourth quarter to edge host Grove City 32-29 in an OCC-Ohio Division game Oct. 11.
The Tigers — who trailed 29-22 at the end of the third quarter — scored twice to go ahead, then held on as Grove City missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.
Central improved to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the league, while Grove City dropped to 3-4 and 2-2.
The comeback started after Grove City quarterback Cameron Meece fumbled on his own 23-yard line with just under 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Central settled for a 31-yard field goal by Devon McMillin with 5 minutes, 18 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 29-25.
Grove City was forced to punt on its next possession and Central took over at midfield.
Six plays later, Isaiah Richmond powered up the middle for 11 yards for a touchdown with 2:34 left.
After Richmond’s go-ahead score, the Dawgs took over on their own 18-yard line and Meece led a 15-play, 69-yard drive to Central’s 13. Central called a timeout before Drew Capehart’s field-goal attempt, and the kick was wide right to end the game.
“That was a real slugfest,” Central coach Jay Sharrett said. “It was a real back-and-forth game and we were fortunate to get the win. Grove City could have just cashed it in when they got the ball inside their own 20, but they almost drove the field on us.”
Grove City coach Matt Jordan, whose team also led 14-0 in the second quarter, said the Dawgs just couldn’t hold on.
“The kids fought all game and didn’t give up,” Jordan said. “We just made little mistakes and lost focus a couple of times and that allowed the momentum to change.”
Central quarterback Colby Simkins completed 11 of 17 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown, a 62-yarder to Eric Marshall in the third quarter that tied the game at 22-all.
Simkins also threw an interception in the second quarter that Grove City defensive back Ben Myers returned 95 yards for a touchdown.
Meece was 16 of 25 passing for 110 yards and one touchdown and he rushed for 76 yards on 18 carries, but he also fumbled twice. Grove City finished with 272 yards rushing on 58 attempts.
Tawain Gordon led Central with 79 yards rushing on seven carries, as the Tigers ran for 175 yards on 31 carries.
“I’m proud of our guys tonight,” Sharrett said. “My hat’s off to Grove City. They played a tremendous game. That was just a good OCC-Ohio game out there tonight.”
GC--Myers 95 interception return (Capehart kick)
GC--Kimball 15 pass from Meece (Capehart kick)
PC--McMillin 31 FG
PC--Safety. Ball snapped over Grove City punter’s head out of end zone
PC--Richmond 6 run (McMillin kick)
PC--McMillin 32 FG
GC--Williams 1 run (Jones run)
PC--Marshall 62 pass from Simkins (McMillin kick)
GC--Pack 32 run (Capehart kick)
PC--McMillin 31 FG
PC--Richmond 11 run (McMillin kick)