The second meeting in program history against Cincinnati Moeller ended the same as the first one for the Pickerington High School North football team — with a loss.
On Aug. 29 in their opener, the Panthers lost to the two-time defending Division I state champion Crusaders 21-6 in Crew Stadium in a Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown matchup.
The last time the teams played was in a state semifinal in 2012, when Moeller won 26-21 to end the greatest season in North’s history. The Crusaders went on to win the state championship that year and defended their title last year.
“I thought we had about four opportunities for big plays, and going against an elite team, you’ve got to be able to make them,” North coach Tom Phillips said.
Moeller limited the Panthers to only 86 yards rushing on 39 attempts.
North outgained the Crusaders 284-277 in total yardage and held the advantage in time of possession (26 minutes, 3 seconds to 21:57), but Moeller maintained control after taking a 14-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Crusaders scored the game’s first points with 3:19 left in the second quarter when quarterback Matt Crable hit wide receiver Chase Pankey for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Moeller moved 59 yards on four plays on that possession.
Pankey then returned the kickoff to start the second half 79 yards to the North 18. Even though Moeller failed to score on the possession, it forced the Panthers to punt on the ensuing drive and took over at the North 28 with 7:55 left in the third quarter. Four plays later, Crable scored on a 14-yard run.
The Crusaders increased their lead to 21-0 with 9:40 left when Demetrius Yett ran for a 4-yard touchdown to cap a 91-yard, 13-play drive.
North scored its only touchdown with 5:13 left on a 41-yard pass from quarterback Christian Whitner to Jaye Williams, who had 99 yards on five receptions.
Whitner finished 14-for-30 passing for 191 yards and had 45 yards rushing but suffered a knee injury during the game’s closing seconds. His status for North’s game Sept. 5 against Dublin Jerome wasn't immediately known.
Yett led Moeller with 81 yards rushing on 18 attempts. Jake Hausmann had three catches for 50 yards and Pankey added three receptions for 43 yards.
Crable was 6-for-15 passing for 93 yards and one touchdown.
“Defensively, I thought we played simply spectacularly,” Moeller coach John Rodenberg said.
CM—Pankey 25 pass from Crable (Coghlin kick)
CM—Crable 14 run (Coghlin kick)
CM—Yett 4 run (Coghlin kick)
PN—Williams 41 pass from Whitner (kick blocked)