Sophomore Sheron Phipps put his mark on his first “Wo-Town Showdown,” scoring three touchdowns to help the Thomas Worthington High School football team defeat host Worthington Kilbourne 25-20 on Sept. 14.
It was the Cardinals’ first win in the series since 2011 and snapped their 28-game league losing streak, as Thomas improved to 2-2 by winning the OCC-Cardinal Division opener.
“Sheron is a special, special sophomore,” Cardinals coach Matt Zingery said. “He made big plays all game long and I thought (quarterback Charlie Rhoades) threw some nice balls at key times tonight. Our program needed this. It was a long time coming.”
Rhoades and Phipps connected four times for 63 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 2 minutes, 57 seconds remaining.
Facing fourth-and-4 at the Kilbourne 26, Phipps ran and out-and-up pattern and got behind his defender and Rhoades put the ball right on target.
“I wanted the ball real bad and was telling everyone to get me the ball and let me make a play,” said Phipps, who also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Rhoades early in the fourth quarter and returned an interception 104 yards for a touchdown that gave Thomas a 12-7 lead late in the first half.
“I told coach before the last play that I would throw the most perfect pass I’d ever thrown and to let us go deep there instead of trying to throw short for a first down.” Rhoades said of the winning touchdown. “This is such a remarkable feeling to beat your rival and end all those bad streaks.”
Kilbourne, which fell to 0-4, drove to the Thomas 35 in the final minute but gave the ball back on downs.
The Wolves played without senior standout running back Elijah Young, who tore an ACL in the fourth quarter of a 35-14 loss to Groveport on Sept. 7.
Terrique Gray replaced Young and rushed for 124 yards on 27 carries and the Wolves took a 20-19 lead with 6:19 left as receiver Kuric Buell threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Turner. The two-point pass attempt failed.
“We’ve got to find a way to finish,” Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti said. “We’ve been in a number of close games and haven’t found a way to win any of them yet. Tonight, they beat us on a slant-and-go a couple times and that was it. We held them to 89 yards rushing. It’s frustrating, but we’ve got to get back up, dust ourselves off and get ready for the next challenge.”
Rhoades finished 9-for-19 passing for 126 yards with three touchdowns, with the other going to Brandon Ross for an 8-yard score. DiJahn Davis added 72 yards rushing on 20 carries for the Cardinals.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final THOMAS WORTHINGTON 0 12 0 13 25 WORTHINGTON KILBOURNE
7 0 7 6 20
WK—English 30 pass from Timms (Laudermilch kick)
TW—Ross 8 pass from Rhoades (kick blocked)
TW—Phipps 104 interception return (kick failed)
WK—Timms 1 run (Laudermilch kick)
TW—Phipps 10 pass from Rhoades (Graham kick)
WK—Turner 24 pass from Buell (pass failed)
TW—Phipps 26 pass from Rhoades (pass failed)