Students dressed like superheroes Sept. 15 to celebrate the London HIgh School football team’s MSL-Ohio Division opener against another undefeated team, Columbus Academy. One even dressed as Red Raiders junior tailback K.J. Price, donning a cape and all.
Price didn’t let down his admirer, piling up 340 yards on 27 carries and breaking three long touchdown runs in London’s 38-28 victory.
“I’ve been around the game for a long time, and I don’t need to tell you that K.J. is a special, special player,” London coach Kyle Cutler said. “He just runs at a different frequency. That said, we’ve got people around him that help make him successful.”
Academy (3-1, 0-1) came in having not allowed a point. On the first series, the Vikings swarmed Price for 1 yard on three carries.
“I wasn’t worried,” said Price, a 5-foot-10, 170-pounder with blazing speed. “I just trusted in my blocking and stayed patient. We made the adjustments and things eventually opened up.”
Price had a 76-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second series and added an 89-yarder on the next series to make it 14-0. But it was a 44-yard touchdown dash on third-and-4 early in the fourth quarter that padded the Red Raiders’ lead to 31-20 and sent them on the way.
“Players like that can really hurt you by turning the game on a big play or two,” Academy coach Robin Miller said. “Price is really, really impressive, and he’s got some big guys up front and a great scheme to make it all work. I think you’re going to see that team win a lot of games this year.”
Price ran his season total to 1,289 yards and 15 touchdowns, with an average of 13.6 yards per carry. He missed the second half of 2016 season with an elbow injury.
“If he isn’t getting looked at by the big colleges, they’re probably looking at him by now,” said Cutler, adding that London lost two potential all-conference caliber linemen to season-ending injuries in two-a-days.
“The kids we have really work hard and they believe in our system,” he said.
London was equally effective on quarterback sneaks by Josh Handley that pushed the pile anywhere from 6 to 10 yards. Handley went 40 yards on a keeper for a touchdown with 5:18 remaining to seal the victory. He also had a 1-yard touchdown run.
With nifty running by Herman Moultrie and quick passes from quarterback Matthew Saling to Moultrie and his younger brother, Dorrian Moultrie, Academy bounced back from the early deficit and pulled to a 17-all tie at halftime. Both Moultries had touchdown catches.
A 63-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Dorrian Moultrie with 2:06 left cut the deficit to 38-28, but the Red Raiders recovered a long onside kick attempt and ran out the clock.
“We came in a little short-handed on the offensive line due to some injuries, but I was really proud of the way we battled and fought all night,” Miller said. “This is just one game. We’ll be back.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final COLUMBUS ACADEMY 7 10 3 8 28 LONDON
14 3 7 14 38