Calvin Dawson disputed only half of the 5-foot-6, 145-pound listing next to his name in the program for the Central District All-Star football game on June 16 at Fortress Obetz.
“I think I weigh a little closer to 150-ish now,” said Dawson, a wide receiver from Walnut Ridge High School.
Either way, no defensive back could catch him on what turned out to be the biggest play of the game, one that wasn’t even originally meant for him.
Dawson caught a pass from Teays Valley quarterback Brandon Coleman and bolted 49 yards down the sideline on the fourth play of the second quarter for what turned out to be an insurance touchdown as the Red all-star team shut out the White all-stars 10-0.
The Red team broke a two-game losing streak in the series and now leads 9-2.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be the guy who got the ball that play,” Dawson said, adding that Pickerington North’s Ty Wiley was the intended receiver. “(The play) broke down and I ran a corner route. I saw the ball in the area and went up to get it and ran as hard as I could. I saw a safety closing in on me (near the goal line), so I just dove to get in and got the touchdown.”
Independence running back DeMontae Taylor led the Red team’s offense with 145 yards rushing on 14 carries behind an offensive line led in part by DeSales’ Cullen Krombach, a University of Dayton recruit. Taylor picked up 53 of his yards on the first play from scrimmage.
“My coaches always tell me to go at full speed, so that’s what I do. I just run hard,” said Taylor, who rushed for 2,503 yards and 20 touchdowns last season to earn Division III district Offensive Player of the Year honors. “Sometimes I might need to get to the sideline, but I love getting in the hole and running hard. I just wanted to score every time I touched the ball. It didn’t turn out that way, but I am glad we got the win.”
Groveport’s Izayah Aekins and Ricco Collins-Hayes each had an interception and Hartley’s Alexander Blackmon recovered a fumble to pace the Red team’s defense, which also thwarted two lengthy drives by the White all-stars inside the red zone.
The White team opened the second half with 13- and seven-play drives, advancing to the 2- and 8-yard lines, respectively, but came up empty. Aekins’ interception ended the first drive, and a false start and incomplete pass thwarted what turned out to be the White team’s final scoring chance.
White quarterback Max Barber, from Westerville South, completed three of six passes for 76 yards. He split time with Mifflin’s Daveonn Logan, who rushed for 28 yards on 13 carries and was just 2-of-9 passing but used his speed to sustain several plays and drives.
“This was fun to coach because these are kids who wanted to be here. They’re not going to take days out of their summer if they didn’t want to actually be here,” said White coach Bob Gecewich, from Dublin Jerome. “We left 14 points on the board. You can’t question the competitive nature of (Logan). He kept some plays alive for 10 seconds. He did everything that he could.”
Canal Winchester’s Trevor Thompson opened the scoring with a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter shortly before a 37-minute lightning delay. Storms passed to the east of Fortress Obetz, but rain never fell at the stadium, which was playing host to the game for the first time.
@ThisWeekDaveTeam 1 2 3 4 Final RED 3 7 0 0 10 WHITE 0 0 0 0 0
R—Thompson 28 FG
R—Dawson 49 pass from Coleman (Thompson kick)