Dublin Coffman football coach Mark Crabtree wasn’t sure what ailed big-play running back Byron Threats on Nov. 1 as he came to the sideline on the second play of an OCC-Central Division game at Upper Arlington.
“I don’t know, Byron tweaked an ankle last week … maybe it was a hamstring,” Crabtree said. “Whatever it was, it didn’t seem to slow him down much in the second half.”
Threats broke free for an 84-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter, helping Coffman break a tie and go on to claim a 28-14 victory, forcing a three-way share of the OCC-Central title and knocking UA out of the playoff hunt.
The junior got to the corner on a zone-read play and ran untouched to the end zone to give Coffman the lead. He said it was a groin injury that had forced him to sit out much of the first half.
Threats said of this long scoring run: “That was a play we worked on like crazy in practice, and it felt especially good to hit it like that. I picked up a big block, and the safety over-pursued. I knew I was gone.”
Threats also came up with the clinching score on a 9-yard run on fourth-and-1 with 6 minutes, 19 seconds remaining. It capped a 12-play, 72-yard drive that chewed up more than seven minutes.
“We needed Byron to come up big because we've had a spate of injuries at the skill positions,” Crabtree said. “Moussa Diallo got hurt in the first half, and Mike Drennen is still out. Byron looked pretty good on those touchdown runs. He must not have been hurt too bad.”
Coffman (8-2, 4-1) won for the seventh straight time against UA (6-4, 4-1), which had won five in a row to make a playoff push.
Ultimately, the Shamrocks had too much firepower for Golden Bears.
“They were chunk, chunk, chunk, and we were the big-play team tonight,” Crabtree said. “It hasn’t always been that way for us this year, though. I’m blessed to have some great athletes who are capable of big plays.”
Midway through the first quarter, Crabtree rolled the dice on fourth-and-1 at his 36-yard line but lost when quarterback Connor Mathews was smacked for no gain by UA’s Charlie Ballou.
UA capitalized with a 10-play, 36-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Jake Leve scored on a 6-yard TD scamper.
Mathews, who diced UA’s defense with explosive straight-ahead runs, hit Jameel Williamson in stride on a 68-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 7.
The Golden Bears fumbled on the next play, and Coffman took over at the UA 22.
On third-and-goal, Mathews plunged in from a yard out with 25 seconds remaining in the half.
The Golden Bears, who secured a share of their first OCC title since 2008, cut the deficit to 21-14 on a methodical 14-play, 80-yard march culminated by a 1-yard TD run by Carson Gresock. The drive took over seven minutes.
Coffman, however, answered with a long drive. Eschewing an easy field goal attempt, Crabtree opted to go for it on fourth-and-1, and Threats delivered with his second TD run.
“When we started two-a-days, we set two goals,” Crabtree said. “One was to win the OCC, and the other was to make the playoffs, and we took care of both of them tonight. It’s not always been pretty, but I think our best football is ahead of us.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final DUBLIN COFFMAN 0 14 7 7 28 UPPER ARLINGTON
0 7 7 0 14