Week 4 of the high school football season featured a number of nail-biters among central Ohio programs.
At New Albany on Sept. 14, the Eagles built a three-touchdown lead but couldn’t hold off a comeback attempt and ended up losing 41-40 in two overtimes to Gahanna Lincoln as both teams moved to 2-2.
Olentangy Liberty led for the first three-plus quarters against Hilliard Davidson, but the Patriots gave up a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 22-21 loss.
Then there was Grandview’s game against Ready, which the Bobcats led the entire way but nearly saw a 17-point lead dissipate. The Silver Knights scored in the closing seconds but had the extra point blocked as Grandview held on 17-16.
Here are five things we learned in Week 4:
1. Pickerington North continues to pass every test.
In a matchup of teams off to perfect starts, the Panthers produced 357 yards and limited Westerville Central to 157 while forcing two turnovers in a 52-7 victory.
There does not seem to be many answers in how to defend North’s passing game. Quarterback Mike Lowery passed for four touchdowns a week after throwing for six, and eight players caught at least one pass for the Panthers as they improved to 4-0 while the Warhawks fell to 3-1.
2. Dublin Coffman understands how to overcome adversity.
The Shamrocks trailed for most of their game against Olentangy but rallied to score the final 22 points and won 22-16 to improve to 4-0.
The win came despite Coffman being outgained 319-263 and committing two turnovers, and with the Braves having the ball for more than 14 minutes longer.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Shamrocks’ Mike Drennen is pretty versatile. He produced 142 yards of total offense and even attempted three passes.
3. Columbus East is having its best season in several years.
After going 1-9 every year from 2014 through last season, the Tigers beat Whetstone 28-14 in their City League-North Division opener Sept. 14 to improve to 2-2.
East has a solid player in Deo-Samuel Pierre, who rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns.
The Tigers are in their second season under coach Wes Edwards, a former Beechcroft and Brookhaven assistant.
4. St. Charles is making progress under new coach Deke Hocker.
After losing their first two games, the Cardinals beat 2017 Division III playoff qualifier New Philadelphia 41-21 on Sept. 14.
The Cardinals finished 1-9 last season, losing 29-28 to the Quakers and beating Washington Court House the next week, but they later had to forfeit that victory for using an ineligible player.
St. Charles hasn’t had a winning record since 2013.
5. There is going to be an intense battle for playoff spots in Division I, Region 2.
With only six teams at 3-1 or 4-0 in Division I, Region 2, it should be quite an interesting six weeks for the teams in that region.
There are five others at 2-2, and that’s not including Liberty and Dublin Jerome, which are just 1-3 but have had some tough losses after making playoff runs last year.
There are three teams apiece from the OCC-Central, OCC-Buckeye and OCC-Cardinal divisions to further fuel those league matchups.