Two weeks into the season, the Dublin Coffman High School football team has yet to allow a point.
The Shamrocks will try to continue that streak when they play host to Brantford (Ontario) St. John’s College on Friday, Sept. 8.
The contest represents the first meeting between the programs. The Eagles are making the trip from Canada to Ohio for the fifth consecutive season. They lost to Massillon Washington 59-34 in 2013 and 77-13 in 2014 and were shut out by the Lions 50-0 in 2015 and 62-0 last year.
“We’re one of the top rugby schools in Ontario, but we like to come down and play at least one football game every year,” St. John’s offensive coordinator Dennis Kozina said. “The rules are a challenge, like going from three to four downs and not being able to have (forward) motion prior to the snap. But we have played in Ohio for the last four years, so we’re familiar with it.”
The Eagles will be playing their season opener against Coffman, which has allowed only 67 yards rushing in its 2-0 start.
“It’s the goal of every coach to shut out a team,” coach Mark Crabtree said. “When you talk about defensive football, you talk about not letting the other team score. We’ve been able to do that early on.
“We have some pretty good linebackers who are making plays, we have defensive linemen who are using good technique, and we also haven’t give up big plays. You combine all of those and you’re going to be successful.”
The Shamrocks defeated Scioto 38-0 on Sept. 1, taking advantage of good field position from Irish mistakes. Dustin Drye had two interceptions and Ryan Hamilton and Noah Smith each had one interception.
Running back Gavin Sturdivant led Coffman’s offense with 45 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 13 carries, while quarterback Marcus Ernst was 9-for-14 passing for 94 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“We forced five turnovers (against Scioto) and only gave up one,” Crabtree said. “You add that we were 5-for-5 in the red zone (offensively) and you have to be happy with that.
“There still are things we need improve in terms of assignments or technique. We want to keep seeing improvement from one week to the next. It’s our jobs as coaches to keep getting the best out of them.”