A few of his Westerville Central High School football teammates chuckled upon learning that LaBronz Davis completed just five of 16 passes Sept. 7 in a nonleague game at Eastmoor Academy.
They didn’t wait for the final part of the sentence. Davis threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half, as Central turned a close game into a 55-24 rout of the Warriors at Griffin Field.
“We like to exploit our opponents’ mistakes and execute our own plays,” Davis said. “It’s hard to describe why games turn the way they do. Let’s just say that a lot of stuff opened up our big plays tonight.”
That “stuff” included an inexplicable implosion in the second quarter by Eastmoor, which led 14-13 before a dropped potential long touchdown pass seemed to swing the pendulum.
“We’re getting a lot of big plays this season, and that’s just the way things go some nights,” Central first-year coach Brent Morrison said after watching his team run its record 3-0. “We took advantage of a lot of their errors and made some big special-teams plays to turn things our way.”
Two plays after the drop, Central responded with a 70-yard TD pass from Davis to Colton Irwin.
Eastmoor then put together an effective drive, but on fourth-and-2 near midfield saw an errant snap sail well over the head of the punter.
The Warhawks needed just three plays to go ahead 27-14 on a 3-yard TD run by Justin Carter.
Eastmoor could have licked its wounds and headed to halftime, but instead failed to convert a fourth-and-4 play at its own 36.
On the next play, badly blown coverage allowed Davis to hit Luke Swaney on a 36-yard TD just a minute before halftime.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a play like that before,” Davis said. “I think they only had nine players on the field, maybe 10, and Luke was standing out there all alone. I audibled as quick as I could so they couldn’t call timeout and just threw it out there to him. They don’t get any easier than that.”
Eastmoor (2-1) continued its statistical dominance into the third quarter, but committed a penalty and then failed on fourth-and-goal at the 6.
On its next series, Eastmoor drove to the Warhawks 13-yard line, but quarterback Marquise Laster was intercepted near the goal line.
“Big plays and miscues were the story of the game,” Eastmoor coach Jim Miranda said. “I’ve never seen us make so many mistakes. We had chance after chance to get back in the game in the second half, but kept shooting ourselves in the foot in the red zone.”
Carter scored a pair of touchdowns for Central.
“Frankly, we did not play as well as I hoped we would, but we did what we had to do to come away with the win,” Morrison said.
“Eastmoor has some dangerous backs, and we tried to contain them by keeping them from getting outside. They may have turned in some big stats, but we kept them from breaking long ones and made them drive on us. We came up with a few goal-line stands, as well.”
Micah Coleman rushed for 132 yards and Savon Edwards had 84 yards rushing and 138 receiving for the Warriors, who dropped the 2017 matchup at Central 57-28.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final WESTERVILLE CENTRAL 13 21 7 14 55 EASTMOOR ACADEMY
14 0 2 8 24