DAYTON — The Pickerington High School Central football team used its speed to hold Cincinnati Colerain’s bruising run-oriented offense in check through most of the first half of a Division I, Region 2 second-round game Nov. 16 at Dayton Welcome Stadium.
But after falling behind by 10 points, the Cardinals wore down the Tigers’ defense with their size and strength at the line of scrimmage en route to a 38-20 victory.
Colerain improved to 12-0, while Central finished 8-3.
“We knew they had a clear size advantage, and when we were fresh we were able to stick our cleats in the ground and hold our own at the line,” Central coach Jay Sharrett said. “We used our speed to stack them up in the first half, but as the game went on their size and strength definitely wore on us.”
The Tigers opened the game with an 11-play, 71-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a 5-yard run by quarterback Colby Simkins.
Two possessions later, a 43-yard run by running back Isaiah Richmond set up a 44-yard field goal by Devon McMillin to put Central ahead 10-0 early in the second quarter.
“Their defense has some tall timbers to throw through, but we got our passing game going in the first half to help balance our running game,” Sharrett said.
The Cardinals answered with a 15-play, 66-yard drive, but had to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Zach Gehner after being flagged for holding and block-in-the-back penalties on consecutive plays.
On the Tigers’ following possession, Colerain linebacker Tegray Scales intercepted a pass at Central’s 48-yard line and returned the ball to the 32, setting up an 18-yard touchdown pass from Colerain quarterback Kelvin Cook to Deshaunte Jones to tie the score at 10 going into halftime.
“They came out and smacked us in the mouth,” Colerain coach Tom Bolden said. “But our kids didn’t buckle and we were able to scratch our way back to a tie by halftime. Unfortunately for Pickerington Central, they play a lot of kids both ways, and we were able to wear on them in the second half.”
Cook used several cutback moves to break free for a 54-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the second half to put Colerain ahead 17-10.
Colerain’s DeTuan Smith Moore also scored on runs of 18 and 2 yards, as the Cardinals stretched their lead to 31-13 midway through the fourth quarter.
Richmond scored on a 1-yard run to pull Central within 31-20 with 6:52 remaining, but Jordan Asberry’s 11-yard touchdown run for Colerain with 3:50 left closed the scoring.
“They’re the No. 1 team in the state and we knew it would be tough if they got a two-score lead on us,” Sharrett said.
PC—Simkins 5 run (McMillin kick)
PC—McMillin 44 FG
CC—Gehner 32 FG
CC—Jones 18 pass from Cook (Gehner kick)
CC—Cook 54 run (Gehner kick)
PC—McMillin 44 FG
CC—Smith-Moore 18 run (Gehner kick)
CC—Smith-Moore 2 run (Gehner kick)
PC—Richmond 1 run (McMillin kick)
CC—Asberry 11 run (Gehner kick)