The Pickerington High School Central football team earned at least a share of the OCC-Ohio Division championship and beefed up its playoff résumé with a dominating performance against visiting Reynoldsburg, which may have watched its postseason aspirations end.
The Tigers, who improved to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio, pounded the Raiders with a stable of runners in a 41-7 victory Oct. 20.
Jamir Jackson and Jeremiah Wood delivered a one-two punch with two touchdowns each, and quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw threw two touchdown passes as the Tigers built a 34-0 lead by halftime.
“Our (offensive) line was able to open up the holes and everybody that got the ball saw those holes, and it was wide open,” said Wood, who had 30 yards rushing and two touchdowns on seven carries.
Jackson led the Tigers with 103 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
Eleven players carried the ball for the Tigers, who totaled 282 yards on the ground.
Central, which was third in the Division I, Region 3 computer ratings entering Week 9, can win the OCC-Ohio title outright and secure a home first-round playoff game with a victory over Grove City on Oct. 27.
The Tigers have won at least a share of 12 consecutive league championships.
Central coach Jay Sharrett wondered how his team would respond following an emotional 24-21 victory over Pickerington North on Oct. 13.
“It comes down to these guys love to play football,” said Sharrett, whose team has won 16 consecutive games against Reynoldsburg. “People might think, well, they’re going to come out flat. We had a great week of practice and came out and took the game and wrestled it away from them. We’re just happy to be OCC champs right now.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to take command.
Crenshaw threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Justin Sutherland and Jackson scored on a 20-yard run to make it 13-0 in the first quarter. Central put up 21 points in the second quarter, including a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped by Jackson’s 13-yard touchdown run that expanded the Tigers’ lead to 27-0.
Reynoldsburg coach Buddy White, whose team dropped to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Ohio, had put an emphasis on this game during the offseason, knowing a victory against Central was a must if his group wanted a shot at the league title.
The Raiders were outgained 372-192 in total yards and failed to sustain drives.
“We had spurts, but you’re playing against a Pickerington Central team that’s very consistent,” White said. “If you’re not consistent, what you saw on the scoreboard is what happens.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final REYNOLDSBURG 0 0 7 0 7 PICKERINGTON CENTRAL
13 21 7 0 41
PC—Sutherland 38 pass from Crenshaw (pass failed)
PC—Jackson 20 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Wood 7 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Jackson 13 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Wood 1 run (Cubra kick)
R—Strickland 4 pass from Henry (Philhower kick)
PC—Peppers 33 pass from Crenshaw (Cubra kick)