TOLEDO — While the football game was delayed for nearly 10 minutes because of an injury to the opposing team, Pickerington High School Central’s Terry Simuel had one thing on his mind.
Once play resumed, the junior defensive back and junior defensive lineman DeWayne Carter combined to make the game’s biggest play Aug. 24 against Detroit Cass Tech at the University of Toledo’s Glass Bowl.
With the Tigers trailing by three points, Carter stripped the ball from quarterback Aaron Jackson and Simuel recovered at the Cass Tech 8-yard-line.
Three plays later, Tigers quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw scored on a 1-yard run with 3 minutes, 15 seconds remaining to give Central a 24-21 victory in the season opener for both teams.
“I just wanted to sack the quarterback, and DeWayne Carter knocked the ball out of his hands,” Simuel said. “It was a close game and you’ve always got to depend on each other. It’s a team sport.”
Central was a Division I state semifinalist last season and Cass Tech was Michigan’s big-school state champion, and the game didn’t disappoint from a physical perspective.
The Tigers opened the scoring with 1:23 left in the first quarter on Jamir Jackson’s 2-yard touchdown run. The touchdown, which capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive, was set up by a 46-yard pass from Crenshaw to Alex Morgan that moved Central to the Cass Tech 2.
With 7:36 left in the second quarter, Central took a 14-0 lead on Jamir Jackson’s 19-yard touchdown pass from Crenshaw. During the drive, Crenshaw hit Jeremiah Wood for a 36-yard reception to move the Tigers to the Cass Tech 44.
With 3:18 left before halftime, Central’s Jason Betts recovered a fumble following a bad shotgun snap to Aaron Jackson at the Tigers’ 25.
With 8:37 left in the third quarter, the Technicians followed a 41-yard punt return by Jevin Swanigan with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Jackson to Brandon Gray for their first score.
Central got one of the game’s biggest breaks with 6:23 left in the third quarter when Carter recovered a fumble at the Cass Tech 6, but the Tigers had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Cameron Cumbra to make it 17-7.
Cass Tech cut it to 17-13 with an 8-yard touchdown run by Aaron Jackson with 3:11 left in the third quarter. The Technicians then put together a six-play, 78-yard drive early in the fourth quarter and took a 21-17 lead on an 11-yard run by Jackson.
“(Cass Tech) came out in the second half and played near-perfect football,” Tigers coach Jay Sharrett said. “You have to absorb it. When it was time for us to get a drive, we didn’t overdo it and we didn’t underdo it. All you’ve got to do is chip away.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final PICK. CENTRAL
7 7 3 7 24 DETROIT CASS TECH
0 0 13 8 21
PC—Jackson 2 run (Cubra kick)
PC—Jackson 19 pass from Crenshaw (Cubra kick)
CT—Gray 13 pass from Jackson (Ramirez kick)
PC—Cumbra 27 FG
CT—Jackson 8 run (kick failed)
CT—Jackson 11 run (Mangham run)
PC—Crenshaw 1 run (Cubra kick)