Long known for its prolific passing game and Division I-recruited quarterbacks, the Dublin Coffman football team seems to have taken on a new identity.
Using a ground-and-pound approach, Coffman played keep-away from visiting Dublin Jerome on Sept. 13 and pulled away for a 31-14 victory in a nonleague intradistrict rivalry. The Shamrocks have won all four games in the series.
“I guess you could say that’s kind of unlike us, but that’s just kind of the way the game fell because of the (windy) conditions and what they were showing on defense,” Shamrocks coach Mark Crabtree said.
Running the run-pass option to perfection, quarterback Connor Mathews and tailback Moussa Diallo diced up the Celtics’ defense.
Mathews rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries and Diallo for 100 yards and three TDs on 20 attempts.
Headed to halftime, Jerome (2-1) had the momentum after scoring twice to make it 14-14. But Coffman (3-0) put together a statement drive to open the second half, marching 80 yards on 13 plays and chewing up some 6:31 to take the lead. Diallo capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge.
“Coach told us at halftime that we’ve got to stay focused and take care of our responsibilities and the team that wanted it more would come out on top,” Mathews said. “That drive was outstanding, and going into the wind at that.
“We trusted our offensive line and just kept pounding it.”
After a strong defensive stand, the Shamrocks took over where they left off, driving for 16 plays and 73 yards before settling for a 20-yard field goal by Casey Magyar. This march chewed up some 9:23 and snatched all hope from the scrappy Celtics.
“We not only got off to a great start in the game by getting ahead 14-0, we really put the pedal down to open the third quarter,” Crabtree said. “We only made a few adjustments. The guys just did a good job of running the offense. We’ve never really had a running quarterback here, and Connor gives us options that we didn't always have.”
Mathews said most of his runs were set plays called by Crabtree.
“It’s all about what the defense is showing us, and they were rolled into pass coverage a lot so we just basically ran it down their throats until they showed they could stop us,” Mathews said.
Strong winds from the south played a big role from the outset.
Jerome’s opening possession, into the wind, ended with a 5-yard, backspinnning punt and Coffman took advantage.
It took the Shamrocks seven plays to march 34 yards for the opening score, a 7-yard run by Diallo.
After another three and out by the Celtics, Coffman was in business again.
Facing fourth-and-9, Mathews hit Christian Yousey for a 23-yard gain. On the next play, Jameel Williamson took a jet sweep 9 yards to the end zone. It was 14-0 Shamrocks.
As the teams changed ends, Jerome took command. The Celtics mounted a 15-play, 80-yard, seven first-down scoring drive. A pass interference call in the end zone on fourth down gave the Celtics another chance and Ryan Miller found Adam Booth on a short pass for a 3-yard TD.
After a nice defensive stand, Jerome went to work with a 10-play, 60-yard drive. On fourth-and-12, Miller connected with Sammy Stoner for 18 yards, and Miller eventually hit Booth again on a 7-yard hitch pass.
A Coffman drive just before halftime stalled because of a holding penalty and the teams went to halftime tied at 14.
The second half was all Coffman. Jameel Williamson intercepted quarterback Ryan Miller with 6:01 remaining, killing any chance Jerome had of a comeback.
Diallo scooted in for his third TD with 2:28 remaining.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final DUBLIN JEROME 0 14 0 0 14 DUBLIN COFFMAN
14 0 7 10 31