The Canal Winchester High School football team reeled off nine consecutive wins after a season-opening loss and won its first OCC-Capital Division championship. But in the end, neither of those accomplishments were enough for the Indians to prolong their season.

Darren Davis rushed for 25 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries Oct. 26 as the Indians pulled away for a 27-7 home win over Big Walnut to clinch the outright OCC-Capital title. It’s their first league championship since winning the MSL-Buckeye in 2012.

Canal Winchester went 9-1 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Capital, but found about an hour after the game that it did not get enough help and finished ninth in Division II, Region 7, one spot shy of a playoff berth.

Canal Winchester finished with 22.45 computer points in Region 7, .2747 of a point shy of Walnut Ridge, which earned the final playoff berth. The Scots beat the Indians 27-14 in a first-round game last year.

The Indians had been 10th in the region entering play Oct. 26, although the fifth- through 11th-place teams were separated by less than 1.6 points. Their only loss came against Thomas Worthington, 34-21 on Aug. 24.

The situation was in contrast to last year, when the Indians were 5-4 and 10th in Region 7 entering their Week 10 game at Big Walnut. Canal Winchester won 38-6 and several other results, including Upper Arlington having to forfeit a win over Central Crossing, went the Indians’ way to put them into the postseason for the first time since 2012.

Tyler Toledo rushed for 114 yards on 13 carries against Big Walnut. Quarterback Jack Beeler completed eight of 15 passes for 117 yards and rushed for a touchdown despite finishing with minus-8 yards on six carries.

Davis scored from 2 yards out with less than four minutes left in the first quarter and Beeler added his touchdown from 3 yards with 28 seconds left in the quarter. Davis’ second score, from 6 yards, made it 20-0 with 2:47 to play in the first half. He scored again, from 2 yards, midway through the third quarter.

Davis also made 5.5 tackles, four solo, at linebacker and defensive lineman Bryce Eisnaugle recorded a team-high eight tackles.

Cross country season ends at regional

Sophomores Allena Klamorick and Bonnie Butler of the girls cross country team fell short of qualifying for the Division I state meet, placing 64th and 104th, respectively, of 133 runners at regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.

Klamorick finished in 21:02.1. Butler’s time was 21:55.9.

The top 20 individuals advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.

Butler and Klamorick were the Indians’ only two regional qualifiers. They were trying to earn the program’s first state berth since Kayla Scott advanced in 2011.

Both the boys and girls teams expect to return most of their top runners next year. In addition to Butler and Klamorick, juniors Sophia Garcia and Tara Schirr and sophomores Merideth McFarland and Jessica Miller are eligible to return for the girls squad.

Five of the top seven boys runners are eligible to return in juniors Reece Klamorick and Drew Kotwis and sophomores Nate Hoffman, Michael McKeon and Brett Smithers.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave