After his Dublin Coffman High School football team all but clinched a playoff berth with a dramatic 17-14 win at Upper Arlington on Nov. 1, Shamrocks coach Mark Crabtree gave as much thought to where his team was six weeks ago as to the fact it likely will be playing next weekend.
“Considering where we were, I’m extremely proud of this team,” Crabtree said, referring to a 1-3 record through four games. “We had a lot of people, including ourselves I’m sure, doubting our team. It’s very rewarding to see where these guys have been and where they are now.”
Coffman led 10-0 midway through the first quarter but then was held to 83 yards through the next three quarters by a stout UA defense as the Bears played for their own playoff lives. But Coffman finally broke through on its final possession.
Starting at their own 40-yard line with 4 minutes, 22 seconds to play, a 25-yard pass from Benjamin Beckett to Dre Kendrick got the Shamrocks into UA territory.
Six plays later, Kendrick found a seam outside and scored from 13 yards out to put Coffman ahead.
“We got some screen (passes) working and were able to stretch the defense,” said Kendrick, who rushed for 91 yards on 28 carries. “Our offensive line got a nice push at the end and I was able to bust right through there.”
Coffman finished the regular season 7-3 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Central Division. The Shamrocks entered the game 14th in Division I, Region 2, with the top 16 teams making the playoffs.
UA was 20th entering the game and needed to win in addition to getting considerable help. The Golden Bears finished 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the league.
Coffman took a 10-0 first-quarter lead on a John McGue field goal and Beckett’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Marcinick. The touchdown came one play after UA’s Lewis Hughes fumbled the kickoff that followed the field goal.
But UA’s defense allowed the Bears to hang in. Quarterback Kyle Kaparos had a 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and running back Chris Frey’s 15-yard scoring run in the third put UA ahead 14-10.
Frey had 84 yards on 19 carries to lead the Bears, while Beckett was 11-for-17 passing for 156 yards for Coffman.
“They made some big pass plays when they really needed them,” said UA coach Mike Golden, who confirmed his retirement after nine seasons with the Bears and three decades of coaching at UA, Watterson and New Albany. “I thought we did a great job defensively. They threw a couple of late screens and caught us off guard.”
DC—McGue 28 FG
DC—Marcinick 10 pass from Beckett (McGue kick)
UA—Kaparos 3 run (O’Brien kick)
UA—Frey 15 run (O’Brien kick)
DC—Kendrick 13 run (McGue kick)