Michael Whatley threw four touchdown passes and the defense produced seven turnovers, giving the Reynoldsburg High School football team its first playoff victory since 2001.

The top-seeded Raiders rolled to a 52-0 home victory over eighth-seeded Toledo Start in a Division I, Region 2 contest Nov. 2.

“This is my first time going to the playoffs, and to help this team get a (playoff) win, only our second in history, it’s a great feeling,” said Whatley, whose team improved to 10-1.

Reynoldsburg, which last appeared in the playoffs in 2015, faces fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a regional semifinal on Nov. 9.

Whatley threw all of his touchdown passes in the first half, including a 62-yard connection with James Dean on the Raiders’ opening drive. He finished 11-for-17 passing for 145 yards.

Shon Strickland caught a pair of touchdown throws, including a 13-yard score that gave Reynoldsburg a 21-0 lead with 11 minutes, 53 seconds left in the second quarter.

Breyon Eddings led a defense that held the Spartans to 45 total yards, all in the first half. The junior had three interceptions, including one he returned 30 yards for a touchdown to make it 38-0 with nine seconds left in the first half.

Reynoldsburg added a third-quarter touchdown when Noah Mwaitenda sacked Start quarterback Jake Beringer, who lost the ball in the end zone, where it was recovered by the Raiders' Darien Abron.

“Our defense gets after it,” Reynoldsburg coach Buddy White said. “They’re definitely the strength of our team. I’ve said this from the beginning: We will never get a championship until we get a championship defense, and I really like how our defense is playing now.”

Princeton Hoskins scored on a 43-yard punt return in the fourth quarter to close the scoring.

Start, which finished 6-5, had entered the game on a five-game winning streak.




Team 1 2 3 4 Final TOLEDO START 0 0 0 0 0 REYNOLDSBURG
14 24 7 7 52

R—Dean 62 pass from Whatley (Goff kick)

R—Strickland 13 pass from Whatley (Goff kick)

R—Strickland 13 pass from Whatley (Goff kick)

R—Goff 28 FG

R—Mock 5 pass from Whatley (Goff kick)

R—Eddings 30 interception return (Goff kick)

R—Abron fumble recovery in end zone (Goff kick)

R—Hoskins 43 punt return (Goff kick)