High expectations are the norm for the Dublin Coffman High School football program.

High expectations are the norm for the Dublin Coffman High School football program.

That was the case this fall, but the fourth-seeded Shamrocks ran into a roadblock in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal.

Standing in the way was second-seeded Huber Heights Wayne, the state runner-up the last two seasons. The second-ranked Warriors used their numerous weapons on offense to take advantage of Coffman's four turnovers and roll past the Shamrocks 52-10 on Nov. 11 at London.

Coffman finished 9-3 overall, while Wayne improved to 11-0-1 and advanced to play third-seeded Pickerington Central (11-1) in the regional final Friday, Nov. 18, at London.

"I think this was a really good year, but obviously you can't say it was a great year," 16th-year coach Mark Crabtree said. "We had a nine-win season, which is good, but we have high expectations. We didn't meet some of our lofty goals, but I would rather have that than not have high expectations."

Against Wayne, senior quarterback Drew Hodgson connected with senior wide receiver Ryan Solis on an 18-yard pass in the fourth quarter for the Shamrocks' lone touchdown, and junior kicker Jordan Drye made a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter.

"Going in we knew how talented they were and that we had to play a flawless game," defensive coordinator Curtis Crager said. "We had opportunities early on, but things kind of snowballed after that. There's a reason they reached the state final the last two seasons."

Crager served as interim head coach against Wayne and in a 24-3 win over fifth-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a first-round home game Nov. 4. He stepped in for Crabtree, who was suspended for the first two games of the playoffs by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for a recruiting violation involving an intra-district eighth-grader.

"We had some adversity this season, starting with week 1 with the crazy situation with lightning (Aug. 26) at Springfield and having to go back and finish the game the next day (Aug. 27, in a 22-20 loss) and, obviously, the suspension," Crabtree said. "No matter the situation, the kids played hard through it. I knew they were physically tough, but they also showed they were mentally tough, and we probably did as well as we possibly could have."

Coffman lost to Davidson 7-6 on Oct. 14 in a game that ultimately decided the OCC-Central Division championship. The Shamrocks finished second in the league at 4-1, behind Davidson (5-0). Upper Arlington (3-2) was third.

Senior defensive lineman Ben Frye, a Duke University recruit, was named first-team all-district and league co-Defensive Player of the Year with Davidson linebacker Bosston Nolty, while senior Caleb Stoneburner, a Boston College recruit, was first-team all-district and all-league as a punter, averaging 47.4 yards per punt. As a wide receiver, Stoneburner caught 44 passes for 573 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Hodgson (special mention all-district, first-team all-league) was 177-for-261 passing for 2,195 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions in his first season as a starter. Senior running back Casey Kirk (special mention all-district, first-team all-league) led the team in rushing with 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns on 171 carries.

Offensive linemen Moe Arman (second-team all-district) and Cole Tonucci (special mention all-district), defensive back Cal Haefke (honorable mention all-district), linebackers Jack Hamilton (special mention all-district, first-team all-league) and Nate Robinson (honorable mention all-district, second-team all-league), defensive lineman Joe Kendrick (honorable mention all-district, second-team all-league) and wide receiver Chris Mollica (special mention all-district; 26 catches, 377 yards, 2 TDs) also were among Coffman's 23 seniors.

"This was one of the most fun groups I've been able to work with in terms of practice and preparation," Crabtree said. "I'm going to miss them a lot because of the kind of people that they are."

Among the key players expected to return are juniors Cole Bagozzi (DL), Jeslord Boateng (LB), Luke Crabtree (LB; honorable mention all-district, second-team all-league), Darius Cummings (LB; honorable mention all-district), Griffin Hoak (LB; honorable mention all-district, second-team all-league) and Gavin Sturdivant (RB; 69 carries, 320 yards, 4 TDs) and freshman Mike Drennan (WR; honorable mention all-district, second-team all-league; 46 catches, 524 yards, 2 TDs).

"This season I learned how important the details were," Bagozzi said. "... The seniors on the defensive line showed me how all of the little things add up, and we need to carry that into the offseason and into next year."

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