Mike Lowery saw everything fall into place.
The quarterback for the Gahanna Lincoln High School football team saw his second option — wide receiver Jerome Buckner — get open in the fourth quarter against Dublin Coffman, and that was too good to pass up.
Lowery connected with Buckner on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 1 minute, 31 seconds remaining to give the visiting Lions a 34-32 victory in a see-saw affair Sept. 22.
Gahanna improved to 4-1, while Coffman fell to 3-2.
“I saw Buck get past their safety and I knew he would get it,” Lowery said. “My first option was David Miller for a first down, but when I saw Buck open, I had to go there. He’s our speed man and I knew he had it.”
Buckner, who expected to get the ball from Lowery when he broke away from his defender, finished with eight catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Lowery was 24-for-38 passing for 279 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
“It’s a play we talk about all the time,” Buckner said. “We were able to get down there and score after they came out and stopped us in the second half. We had to adjust, and we came out and picked things up.”
The Lions led 28-17 midway through the third quarter, but Coffman running back Cam Scott scored his fourth touchdown of the game on an 18-yard run with 4:47 left to give the Shamrocks a 32-28 lead.
“That’s a great football team and they came out and stopped us in the third,” Gahanna coach Bruce Ward said. “We made the plays when we needed to, but we have to play smarter.”
Coffman led 3-0 on a 38-yard field goal by Jordan Drye in the first quarter, but the Lions scored three touchdowns in the second and took a 21-10 lead into halftime. Gahanna’s Justus Harris scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns, and Lowery connected with Buckner on touchdown passes of 26 and 7 yards.
“They had some playmakers that we just had trouble covering,” Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said. “That’s the game in a nutshell right there.
“They did a good job on us (in the second quarter) and we came out (in the second half) and made some adjustments. We thought we could get things done in the running game and tweaked some things there, but they had the playmakers in the end.”
Harris finished with 102 yards rushing on 18 carries and Miller caught 10 passes for 97 yards as Gahanna had 386 total yards.
Coffman had 342 total yards as Scott finished with 164 yards on 32 carries, quarterback Marcus Ernst was 12-for-21 passing for 145 yards and an interception and Alex Dluzynski had three catches for 72 yards.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final GAHANNA LINCOLN 0 21 7 6 34 DUBLIN COFFMAN
3 7 7 15 32
DC—J. Drye FG 38
G—Harris 2 run (Stillwell kick)
G—Buckner 26 pass from Lowery (Stillwell kick)
DC—Scott 8 run (J. Drye kick)
G—Buckner 7 pass from Lowery (Stillwell kick)
DC—Scott 1 run (J. Drye kick)
G—Harris 26 run (Stillwell kick)
DC—Scott 13 run (Holcomb pass from Ernst)
DC—Scott 18 run (J. Drye kick)
G—Buckner 33 pass from Lowery (kick failed)