Dublin Coffman: Shamrocks 'fell a little short' of goals
For the second consecutive season, the Dublin Coffman football team came up short of its lofty preseason goal of reaching a Division I state semifinal or beyond.
The top-seeded and host Shamrocks lost 18-15 to fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 24 in a Region 2 semifinal to finish 8-1 overall.
Last fall, they lost 7-3 to Springfield in the Region 2 final.
Coach Mark Crabtree said his players accomplished a lot, but not as much as they had planned.
“In some respects, it was a gratifying season in so many ways,” said Crabtree, who completed his 20th season. “We had some good individual and team performances, but I think our players would agree that we were disappointed with the season and it didn’t go the way we had wanted. We fell a little short of our goals.
“We were thrown a big challenge (with the COVID-19 coronavirus protocols), but all teams that played were in the same boat. Our players and coaches did a really nice job with that.”
The Shamrocks won the OCC-Central Division at 5-0, finishing ahead of runner-up Liberty (4-1). They defeated the Patriots 24-17 on Sept. 4.
Coffman was led by Bryon Threats, a Cincinnati recruit who was first-team all-district and shared league Player of the Year honors with Liberty’s Aidan Kenley. The senior running back rushed for 1,124 yards and 18 touchdowns on 141 carries and caught 21 passes for 402 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Connor Mathews (second-team all-district, first-team all-league) was 86-for-134 passing for 1,126 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 657 yards and seven scores on 98 carries.
Seniors Landon Belding (second-team all-league), Toby Simpson and Daniel Warnsman (first-team all-district and all-league) anchored the offensive line. Senior kicker Casey Magyar (first-team all-district and all-league) was 3-for-5 on field goals and 38-for-39 on extra points.
Senior slotback Sheron Phipps (honorable mention all-district, special mention all-league) played only five games because of OHSAA transfer rules, but had 21 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 12 times for 91 yards and a score.
Senior wide receiver Hunter Hicks (second-team all-league) had 21 receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Ian Carroll had 197 yards rushing on 36 carries with two scores.
Defensively, senior lineman Hammond Russell (first-team all-district and all-league), a West Virginia recruit, had 52 tackles — including nine for loss and 1.5 sacks — and two interceptions. Senior linebacker Devon Williams (first-team all-district and all-league), a Michigan State recruit, had 50 tackles, including 8.5 for loss.
Senior linebacker Maguire Davis (honorable mention all-district, second-team all-league) had a team-high 72 tackles that included 3.5 for loss and two sacks. Senior linebacker O.J. Morris (second-team all-league) added 71 tackles, with three for loss.
Senior defensive back Dorian Weaver (honorable mention all-district, first-team all-league) had 35 tackles and two interceptions, and senior defensive back Kyle Ulring (honorable mention all-league) had 36 tackles.
“I think one of the things we always tell our team is that it will go as far as seniors take them,” said Crabtree, who was league Coach of the Year. “They did all of the dirty little things that can make you successful. They did a good job in practice every day and made the program better because of attitude and effort. It was a really good senior class with good people, and we’re going to miss them.”
Junior linebacker Mitch Broskie (honorable mention all-district) leads the defensive returnees after making 48 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Sophomore defensive lineman Will Smith had 40 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, and two sacks.
Junior linemen Kyle Buckley (33 tackles, 2.5 for loss) and Connor Doyle (2 sacks) and junior linebacker Collin Smith (17 tackles, 2.5 for loss) are expected to be key defenders next fall along with junior defensive back Michael Turbovich, who missed much of the season after shoulder surgery.
“We have to reload and we have to get after it in the offseason,” defensive coordinator Curtis Crager said. “We need to get in the weight room and then have a chance for some guys to step up for us.”
Junior Mason Maggs was 19-for-24 passing for 247 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions as the backup quarterback. He also rushed for 57 yards and one score on 17 carries and caught five passes for 73 yards.
Juniors Alex Diehl (15 catches, 119 yards) and Trey Hedderly (22 catches, 244 yards, 1 TD) are expected back at wide receiver, while juniors Evan Holowaty and Blaine McDonald are expected to return on the offensive line.
We know who we have and they work hard and they’re great attitude guys,” Crabtree said. “We definitely have a nucleus to build the team around. It’s going to be exciting to have guys step in and show people what they have to offer.”
•Record: 8-1 overall
•OCC-Central standings: Coffman (5-0), Olentangy Liberty (4-1), Olentangy Orange (3-2), Upper Arlington (2-3), Hilliard Bradley (1-4), Hilliard Davidson (0-5)
•Seniors lost: Hayden Austin, Nathan Balley, Landon Belding, Ian Carroll, Evann Coy, Maguire Davis, Hunter Hicks, Koen Hill, Casey Magyar, Christopher Maloney, Connor Mathews, Rewar Mohammad, O.J. Morris, Anthony Phillips, Sheron Phipps, Hammond Russell, Toby Simpson, Bryon Threats, Kyle Ulring, Spencer Richardson, Daniel Warnsman, Dorian Weaver and Devon Williams
•Key returnees: Mitch Broskie, Kyle Buckley, Alex Diehl, Connor Doyle, Trey Hedderly, Evan Holowaty, Mason Maggs, Blaine McDonald, Collin Smith, Will Smith and Michael Turbovich
•Postseason: Defeated Beavercreek 56-7; def. Springboro 45-35; lost to Liberty 18-15 in Division I, Region 2 semifinal