Upper Arlington High School football interim coach Barry Fox was adamant that a driving rain did not impact the Golden Bears' game plan during a 17-0 season-ending loss at Dublin Coffman on Oct. 26.
The Bears outgained the Shamrocks 163-136 in total yards, continuing the defense's strong play during the second half of the season, but committed the game's only turnover. That was a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown by Coffman defensive end Sebastian Bramonte that capped a quick 10-point burst near the end of the first half and effectively sealed the outcome.
UA finished 5-5 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Central Division and missed the Division I, Region 2 playoffs by one spot.
"We executed the same game plan we'd have executed whether it was raining or dry," Fox said. "(Coffman is) very sound and they don't make many mistakes. We had to be sound and mistake-free on our offense. We made a couple errors both that people could see, like the interception, and some that people couldn't necessarily see. But you have to be consistently sound to move the ball against them."
UA, which lost its sixth consecutive game to Coffman, finished ninth in Region 2, 1.6197 points behind the eighth and final playoff qualifier, Toledo Start.
Running back Chris Schweisthal rushed for 71 yards on 17 carries and running back Eli D'Herete added 50 yards on 14 carries, but UA had only 29 yards passing in a game that took just 1 hour, 57 minutes to play.
The Bears allowed 121 yards on the ground and the defense allowed one touchdown, as Coffman quarterback Ethan Brown scored on a 27-yard run with 5:40 left.
Joey Mitchell kicked a 23-yard field goal with 2:33 left in the first half, and Bramonte had his interception return three plays later on third-and-1 at the UA 29-yard line.
This was the second consecutive game the Bears played without head coach Joel Cutler, who was placed on administrative leave Oct. 17 as the handling of health and wellness issues for players is investigated.
"I work for Joel Cutler," Fox said. "I had the rare privilege of getting to spend all this time with these kids from the beginning of the season to now. Regardless of this outcome, this doesn't make me feel any differently about any of these kids."