The Upper Arlington High School football team had handed Pickerington Central two painful losses the past two seasons, but the host Tigers used lengthy drives and athleticism to overwhelm the shorthanded Golden Bears 41-7 on Sept. 22.
Jamir Jackson rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, and quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw added 78 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and completed eight of 13 passes for 113 yards and an interception as Central improved to 4-1.
“We just wanted to run the ball hard and gain chunks of yardage at a time. We’ve been going hard and practicing those situations all week, over and over again,” Jackson said. “This was very meaningful. This might have been our hardest week of practice yet. They got us the last two years and we really wanted this.”
UA came from behind to defeat Central 35-29 in overtime last year and beat the Tigers 27-17 in a Division I, Region 2 first-round playoff game in 2015.
This year’s Bears have been affected by several injuries, including losing starting linemen Jake Evans and Jack Stephens to season-ending injuries and defensive back Dexter Lewis to a concussion.
Crenshaw had a 9-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, and Jackson scored on runs of 16 and 1 yards in the second quarter. His shorter scoring run made it 20-0 with 33.3 seconds left in the first half.
“We need that (score) going into halftime,” Central coach Jay Sharrett said. “It’s difficult to bust a big play on (UA). You just have to be patient and strike when you have your chances.”
Tigers defensive back Xavier Henderson intercepted Bears quarterback Sammy Sass late in the third quarter and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-0 and invoke the running clock.
Eli D’Herete provided UA’s only points on a 13-yard touchdown run with 2:49 left.
“I never sensed any quit in our guys … but they physically wore us down,” said UA coach Joel Cutler, whose team dropped to 2-3 and has lost back-to-back games for the first time since losing three in a row in 2014. “They throw so many formations and good personnel groupings at you.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final UPPER ARLINGTON 0 0 0 7 7 PICKERINGTON CENTRAL
6 14 7 14 41
PC—Crenshaw 9 run (kick failed)
PC—Jackson 16 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Jackson 1 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Wood 8 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Henderson 72 INT return (Cubra kick)
PC—Thomas 5 run (Cubra kick)
UA—D’Herete 13 run (Raish kick)