Central Crossing at Pickerington Central: Tigers look to continue dominant play against Comets

DAVE PURPURA
dpurpura@thisweeknews.com
Pickerington Central's Nick Mosley dives into the end zone for a touchdown against Pickerington North on Aug. 30.

Having steamrolled its first two opponents as it begins pursuit of a second consecutive Division I state championship and third in four years, the Pickerington Central football team will look to continue business as usual Friday, Sept. 11, when it plays host to a Central Crossing team that hopes it can sustain momentum.

The Tigers have outscored their opponents 84-9, including a 49-0 win at Newark on Sept. 4 to open OCC-Buckeye Division play.

The Comets are coming off their first win, 21-18 at home over Lancaster that same night, in which they gained just 123 yards of offense but capitalized on three Golden Gales turnovers.

“We’ve had some donnybrooks with Lancaster over the years and any team that can beat them, you’re doing something right,” Central coach Jay Sharrett said. “(Central Crossing) performed last week at a different level than they did against Grove City (a season-opening 7-6 loss Aug. 28).

“They didn’t seem like the same team. They have some nice size, height and toughness in key spots and that’s something we’ll have to deal with.”

Comets running backs Alec Boyd and Kyren Glaze and quarterback Rudy Risinger scored on short touchdown runs against Lancaster, and Boyd and Tristen Needham each had interceptions. Central Crossing limited the Gales to 12 passing yards.

“One of the things we preached a lot this summer was resilience,” Comets coach Trevor White said. “They were ready to get back to work, bought into our message and put forth another great effort. … We focused more on us (last week), were physical and didn’t have to install as much. It was definitely a little bit of an edge for us.

“We didn’t have to do much. Week 1, we just made too many mistakes to win the game so (last week) was a lot about us. … (Lancaster) was by no means a perfect game, but the anger was there, the effort was there and we made enough plays to win. We just have to focus week to week on the (game) right in front of us.”

For the Tigers, Bowling Green commit Nick Mosley rushed for 86 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries against Newark, which Central held to minus-24 yards and one first down. The Tigers led 14-0 after the first quarter and 28-0 at halftime.

Central leads the all-time series 2-0, with both meetings in the first two years after Central Crossing opened when the Tigers and Comets were in the OCC-Ohio. Central, then known as Pickerington, won 56-7 in 2002 — a season in which it ultimately finished as a regional runner-up — and 20-6 in 2003.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

WEEK 3

CENTRAL CROSSING at PICKERINGTON CENTRAL

*When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11

*Last meeting: 2003, Central 20-6

*Central Crossing (1-1 overall, 1-0 in OCC-Buckeye) to date: Lost to Grove City 7-6; defeated Lancaster 21-18

*Central (2-0 overall, 1-0 in OCC-Buckeye) to date: Def. Pickerington North 35-9; def. Newark 49-0

*Top Comets: Drew Basham (OL/DL), Freddy Burchett (OL/DL), Kyren Glaze (RB/DB), Jonathan Mathers (TE/LB), Tristen Needham (TE/LB), Jae’V’on Pass (RB/DB), Rudy Risinger (QB), Tyler Terrell (K/P) and Nick Tiegler (RB/LB)

*Top Tigers: C.J. Doggette (DL), William Dukes IV (LB), Nick Mosley (RB), A.J. Sanders (DB), Sirron Smith (DB/RB), Keaton Snyder (OL), Lorenzo Styles Jr. (WR/DB), Sonny Styles (WR/DB) and Garner Wallace (QB)