Four interceptions led to four touchdowns for the third-seeded Pickerington High School Central football team in a 42-31 win over second-seeded Hilliard Bradley in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal Nov. 10 at DeSales.
The Tigers improved to 11-1 and will play fifth-seeded Pickerington North in the regional final Nov. 17. Bradley finished 11-1.
Central intercepted Bradley quarterback Josh Stewart four times. The senior had thrown only six interceptions in his first 11 games to go with 26 touchdown passes.
“I think our pass rush helped a little, but I think our defensive backs were able to get into a rhythm into (the Jaguars’) pass patterns and how fast (Stewart’s) delivery is,” Central coach Jay Sharrett said. “He’s an accurate passer and we did a couple of step-in-fronts and got some interceptions.”
Jeremiah Wood returned the first interception 25 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to give the Tigers a 21-10 lead with 8 minutes, 41 seconds left in the first half.
Jaquwon Crawford had two interceptions in the third quarter and Grey Brancifort had one in the fourth quarter. The final interception set up Central’s final score, a 5-yard run by Jamir Jackson with 3:19 left.
“You can’t have that many turnovers, especially against a team like that,” Bradley coach Mike LoParo said. “They are a great team and they showed that tonight.”
Central quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and was 2-for-5 passing for 88 yards. Jamir Jackson rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
Central’s Xavier Henderson added four carries for 44 yards and one score and caught an 88-yard touchdown pass.
Stewart led the Jaguars in rushing with 69 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Kory Taylor caught five passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and Daevon Anderson had four receptions for 42 yards.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final PICKERINGTON CENTRAL 7 14 7 14 42 HILLIARD BRADLEY
7 10 0 14 31
PC—Crenshaw 25 run (Cubra kick)
HB—Stewart 11 run (Castro kick)
HB—Castro 20 FG
PC—Henderson 88 pass from Crenshaw (Cubra kick)
PC—Wood 25 interception return (Cubra kick)
HB—Taylor 20 pass from Stewart (Castro kick)
PC—Crenshaw 4 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Henderson 16 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Jackson 5 run (Cubra kick)
HB—Taylor 56 pass from Veil (Castro kick)
HB—Warner 14 pass from Veil (Castro kick)