Dublin Scioto 21, Worthington Kilbourne 13
Dublin Scioto never trailed and its defense held in the closing minute as the Irish defeated host Worthington Kilbourne 21-13 on Sept. 3, winning the annual Battle of Hard Road for the fifth season in a row.
Scioto jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half on a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Amare Jenkins to Xavier Lopes and a 4-yard touchdown run by Ed Worthen.
Kilbourne responded late in the third quarter when backup quarterback Nash Biglin, who replaced injured starter Mitchell Tomasek, threw a 55-yard touchdown to Cayden Dougherty. But Scioto responded minutes later when Jenkins threw a 15-yard touchdown to Tysen Boze.
Kilbourne scored again on a 38-yard touchdown pass from running back Justin Allen to Dougherty on a gadget play midway through the fourth quarter and was in position to tie the game with less than two minutes remaining. But Zion Freeman-Walker intercepted third-string quarterback Tyler Cain in the closing seconds and Scioto held on to win the OCC-Capital Division contest.
“I felt like in the first half we moved the ball a lot better. The thing we were missing was finishing those drives with points,” Scioto coach Karl Johnson said. “(In the) second half I thought we struggled in our first few possessions, and that kept giving them momentum. They got us on two big plays that kept them in the game.
“I thought our defense played great, they had turnovers, but we also got hit with two big plays. And then offensively, I don’t know how many penalties we had but we had way too many.”
Regardless, Johnson said the Irish felt good about the win after falling to Westerville South 42-28 in their season and league opener Aug. 28.
“No matter what happens to your season, when you know your year is on that (Hard Road trophy) for winning that championship, it means the world,” Johnson said. “It’s a big deal to us all year, and you just enjoy it while you got it.”
Jenkins completed 15 of 27 passes for 158 yards. Worthen rushed for 122 yards on 30 carries, and Lopes caught five passes for 85 yards.
Dougherty finished with 148 yards receiving on six receptions to lead the Wolves.
“Success is never permanent, failure is never fatal,” said Kilbourne coach Mike Edwards, whose team was coming off a 33-14 win over Canal Winchester on Aug. 28. “I don’t think our kids failed tonight. We went through a lot of adversity, and we had some kids fighting out there.”
DS–Lopes 21 pass from Jenkins (Salvator kick)
DS–Worthen 4 run (Ali kick)
WK–Dougherty 55 pass from Biglin (kick blocked)
DS–Boze 15 pass from Jenkins (Ali kick)
WK–Dougherty 38 pass from Allen (Erciyas kick)