The Pickerington High School Central football team's most effective offensive weapon once the playoffs began proved to be the legs of sophomore quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw.
His record-setting performance in a 56-28 victory over Mentor in the Division I state final Dec. 1 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton might have been an eye-opener to the rest of the state, but it was more like the finale to something that had been building for weeks.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Crenshaw rushed 24 times for 161 yards and scored six touchdowns to break the Division I state-final record and tie the state-final record for all divisions.
Coincidentally, the previous Division I record of five rushing touchdowns, set by Cincinnati Moeller's Gus Ragland in 2013 and matched by Hilliard Davidson's Bo Delande in 2006, also came against Mentor, which fell to 0-4 in state championship games with the latest defeat.
"It means a lot to me, my teammates and my fans, just to get a win for you guys," Crenshaw said.
In the regular season, Crenshaw rushed for 755 yards on 128 carries (5.9 average) and nine touchdowns. In the playoffs, he scored 15 touchdowns, including four in a 41-28 win over Cincinnati Colerain in a state semifinal Nov. 24 at Springfield.
"There's definitely something special about that kid," senior offensive lineman Brody Egan.
On third-and-goal from the Mentor 3 with 7 minutes, 57 seconds left in the second quarter, Crenshaw appeared to be stopped at the line of scrimmage but found a seam and busted through for a touchdown to tie the game at 14.
Then, after a Tigers fumble recovery at the Mentor 11, Crenshaw ran for 10 yards on first down and scored on the next play to give Central a 21-14 lead.
Although Crenshaw attempted just seven passes, one of his four completions went for 60 yards to Alex Morgan to set up a third-quarter touchdown.
After scoring each of the Tigers' first six touchdowns, Crenshaw set up the seventh with a 37-yard run to the Mentor 1.
"Demeatric being just a sophomore, these guys took him under their wing and told him you're going to be the leader of the offense," coach Jay Sharrett said.