The Westerville Central High School football team honored its head coach Oct. 19 with a 42-35 win over visiting Westerville South.

Senior running back Allen Smith rushed for 276 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries to lead the Warhawks, who recognized ninth-year coach John Magistro prior to the game. Earlier this season, Magistro announced that he would be stepping down after the season.

“It was a great night,” Magistro said. “My family is here, friends. It’s been a great run for me, a great nine years. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

After South rallied from a 21-point, second-half deficit to tie the game at 35, Smith scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on a 10-yard run with 1 minute, 25 seconds remaining.

Central, which won its fifth consecutive game against South after losing the first six meetings, improved to 4-5 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Buckeye Division. The Wildcats fell to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in the league.

Smith scored four first-half touchdowns, helping the Warhawks build a 35-14 early in the third quarter.

Led by running back Jaelen Gill and quarterback Max Barber, South rallied and tied the game at 35 on Malik Powell’s 3-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.

Gill, who battled leg cramps throughout the second half, rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Barber completed 14 of 28 passes for 258 yards with two touchdowns and one interception and Michael McLemore had nine catches for 149 yards and a touchdown as South outgained Central 526-425 in total yards.

“I told them as a group how far we’ve come,” South coach Matthew Christ said. “Where we started, that team would have packed it in at halftime down two touchdowns. Our goal at the start of this was to try to re-establish the standard of what Westerville South football is all about and competing at a high level and being the team that people necessarily didn’t want to play and we would show up for four quarters, and we’re getting there.”

The Warhawks played most of the game without starting quarterback Isaiah Healy, who injured his right throwing shoulder on the game’s first series and did not return.

Labronz Davis II replaced Healy and completed nine of 14 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final WESTERVILLE SOUTH 7 7 14 7 35 WESTERVILLE CENTRAL
7 21 7 7 42

WS—Mansaray 51 run (Bame kick)

WC—Smith 43 run (Borcila kick)

WC—Smith 1 run (Borcila kick)

WS—Mansaray 12 pass from Barber (Bame kick)

WC—Smith 48 run (Borcila kick)

WC—Smith 1 run (Borcila kick)

WC—Hallinan 10 pass from Davis (Borcila kick)

WS—McLemore 74 pass from Barber (Bame kick)

WS—Gill 10 run (Bame kick)

WS—Mal. Powell 3 run (Bame kick)

WC—Smith 10 run (Borcila kick)