Neither a torn ligament in his right thumb nor a broken left ring finger was going to keep Anthony Lowe from contributing during his senior season for the Central Crossing High School football team, and especially not in the Comets’ rivalry game Sept. 6 at Grove City.

The 5-foot-10 senior made his presence felt from the very beginning, returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown before catching a 53-yard touchdown pass and making an interception in the final two minutes as Central Crossing pulled away for a 38-14 win.

“I expect myself to make big plays,” Lowe said. “I had to come out and play hard on this stage. I’ve been through some adversity, but we came through. We didn’t let up. We worked on (the kickoff return) the whole week. I knew I had it once I caught it.”

Pierre France rushed for 174 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for the Comets, who improved to 3-0 all-time against the Dawgs in a crosstown series that began in 2016.

France scored from 10 yards, Lowe caught his long touchdown pass and Jahaan Upchurch scored on a 6-yard run to put Central Crossing ahead 28-0 halfway through the second quarter.

“That first half went about as well as it could,” Central Crossing coach Trevor White said. “When we needed guys to make big plays, they made big plays. The offensive line was tremendous, and what can you say about (Lowe)? If you’d have told me it would be 31-0 at halftime, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Grove City, which fell to 0-3, avoided the shutout when Cole Crager returned the kickoff to open the second half 84 yards for a touchdown. D.J. Gatewood scored from 1 yard out on the Dawgs’ next possession, but the Comets ran almost six minutes off the clock on their next drive and took a 38-14 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kameron Peck.

“We’re just so young. We have no idea what we’re doing up front,” Grove City coach Tennyson Varney said. “At one point in time on defense, we had seven guys who were in their third varsity game, and then (we had) a couple of sophomores in there. We even played a freshman tonight. We just have to keep working to get better.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final CENTRAL CROSSING 21 10 7 0 38 GROVE CITY 0 0 14 0 14

CC—Lowe 97 kickoff return (Terrell kick)

CC—France 10 run (Terrell kick)

CC—Lowe 53 pass from Peck (Terrell kick)

CC—Upchurch 6 run (Terrell kick)

CC—Terrell 25 FG

GC—Crager 84 kickoff return (Swavely kick)

GC—Gatewood 1 run (Swavely kick)

CC—Peck 1 run (Terrell kick)