Week 8 Preview

Newark at Pickerington Central

Wildcats (0-7, 0-4 in OCC-Ohio) <> Tigers (4-2, 3-1)

Senior running back Tawain Gordon returned to a prominent role in Central's offense during a 32-29 victory over Grove City on Oct. 11.

The Tigers fell behind 28-0 in the first quarter of a 49-14 loss to North on Oct. 4, dictating more of a focus on passing, and Gordon had just five rushes for 5 yards.

Gordon had a combined 34 rushes during Central's first three games, including a season-high 13 in a 27-12 win over Lancaster on Sept. 20, but had just six carries for 15 yards in a 28-17 win over Reynoldsburg on Sept. 27.

Against Grove City, he rushed for 80 yards on 11 carries in addition to continuing to be a key player in the defensive secondary.

On the season, Gordon has 56 rushes for 293 yards and three touchdowns.

"We got some good yards out of Tawain Gordon," said coach Jay Sharrett, whose team is 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio. "He's been running well and broke about three or four runs. He's one of our two-way players."

Central had 11 players carry the ball against Grove City, with seniors Jordan Pieczynski (65 yards on 9 carries) and Isaiah Richmond (27 yards on 8 rushes) seeing the most action outside of Gordon.

The running game could be positioned for another big night Friday, Oct. 18, when the Tigers play host to Newark.

The Wildcats gave up 584 yards rushing in a 52-35 loss to Groveport on Oct. 11 that dropped them to 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Ohio.

Central has beaten Newark 11 consecutive times, with its last loss in the series coming in 1997.

"We all stepped up and helped our team," Gordon said. "I'm the fastest (of our running backs) and actually do better on the outside. Isaiah is one of the power backs. I think it's great because we've got different ways we can go against a team."

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