The Canal Winchester football team passed its first OCC-Capital Division test, earning a 41-27 win over visiting New Albany on Oct. 4 to remain undefeated.
Quarterback Jack Beeler completed 12 of 18 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, and Stephan Byrd rushed for 176 yards and three scores on 27 carries for the Indians, who improved to 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Capital.
“Offensively, in the first half, I thought we played incredible in the passing game,” Canal Winchester coach Josh Stratton said. “I challenged our offensive line to be more physical in the second half, and I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage in the second half.”
While the offense racked up 439 total yards, the defense came up with several turnovers and plays that helped widen the Indians’ 27-20 halftime lead.
On New Albany’s opening drive of the second half, Logan Beckworth recovered a fumble at the Eagles' 41-yard line. Four plays later, Byrd scored on a 3-yard run, making it 34-20.
The defense followed that with a big play, holding New Albany on fourth-and-3 at the Indians’ 23-yard line.
But New Albany, which dropped to 3-3 and 0-1, didn’t go away.
The Eagles pulled to within a touchdown again at 34-27 when quarterback Brock Tibbitts scored for the second time in the second half on a 10-yard run with about two minutes left.
Following an unsuccessful onside kick, the Indians closed out the game with Byrd’s 15-yard touchdown run.
“Canal Winchester did a great job of taking it to us,” New Albany coach Bubba Kidwell said. “Defensively wise, we couldn’t get off the field. They did a wonderful job of converting third downs and making big plays.”
New Albany finished with 328 yards rushing.
Mechi McCaulley had 170 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, and Reed Hall added 132 yards on 35 carries.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final NEW ALBANY 7 13 0 7 27 CANAL WINCHESTER
20 7 7 7 41
CW — Toledo 35 pass from Beeler (Musick kick)
NA — McCaulley 44 run (Hoff kick)
CW — Musick 33 pass from Beeler (run failed)
CW — Byrd 2 run (Musick kick)
NA — McCaulley 5 run (Hoff kick)
CW — Heglar 7 pass from Beeler (Musick kick)
NA — Tibbitts 10 run (kick failed)
CW — Byrd 3 run (Musick kick)
NA — Tibbitts 10 run (Hoff kick)
CW — Byrd 15 run (Musick kick)