Gahanna Lincoln at Pickerington North: Panthers, Lions to meet with title implications
Pickerington North has clinched at least a share of its first league title since 2013 and fourth overall, but it needs one more win to clinch what would be the program’s first outright conference championship.
The Panthers will try to accomplish that feat when they play host to Gahanna Lincoln on Friday, Oct. 2, but the Lions have more motivation than just trying to play the role of spoiler.
Even though Gahanna was blown out 43-0 on Sept. 18 at Westerville Central, a 41-0 victory over Grove City on Sept. 25 means the Lions will earn a share of the OCC-Ohio Division title if they come out on top.
After losing its opener 35-9 to Pickerington Central on Aug. 30, North has won four in a row and is 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the league. Gahanna is 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio.
Westerville Central also is 3-1 in the league and could join the Lions and Panthers at the top of the league standings with a Gahanna victory. The Warhawks close the abbreviated regular season at home against New Albany on Friday, Oct. 2.
Gahanna will try to build on one of its most balanced efforts on offense when it faces the Panthers, who have won the last four meetings between the programs.
Against Grove City, senior running back Ronald Blackman rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries and added a 28-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Trey Burger.
Burger was 11-for-18 passing for 225 yards and two scores.
Senior wide receiver Jordan Lowery — who was at Gahanna as a sophomore, transferred to North last season and is now back with the Lions — had three catches for 125 yards and one score to complement junior receiver Kane Baker (12 catches for 104 yards on the season).
North counters defensively with a group that features seniors Elijah Hawk (DL), Cole Johnson (LB) and Devin McShan (DB). Johnson had 2.5 tackles for loss and McShan had 12 tackles in a 56-21 win Sept. 25 over New Albany.
Senior quarterback Jaylen Gilbert completed 12 of 17 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 14 times for 73 yards and two scores against the Eagles.
Junior wide receiver Carl Allen II had four catches for 98 yards and two scores, and senior running back Idris Lawrence Jr. (141 yards, 3 TDs) and sophomore running back Dawaun Green (128 yards, 1 TD) also played well.
Junior linebacker Jabez Hill and sophomore Tyree Johnson have been among the leaders on defense for the Lions.
GAHANNA LINCOLN at PICKERINGTON NORTH
•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
•Last meeting: 2019, North 21-9
•Gahanna (3-2 overall, 3-1 in OCC-Ohio) to date: Lost to Reynoldsburg 48-14; defeated Westland 49-7; def. New Albany 42-41 (OT); lost to Westerville Central 43-0; def. Grove City 41-0
•North (4-1 overall, 4-0 in OCC-Ohio) to date: Lost to Pickerington Central 35-9; def. Westerville Central 34-20; def. Westland 59-6; def. Grove City 47-24; def. New Albany 56-21
•Top Lions: Ricky Alli (RB/LB), Tommy Bailey (OL/DL), Kane Baker (WR/DB), Trey Burger (QB), Ronald Blackman (RB/DB), Mondra Curry (RB/LB), Jordan Lowery (WR), Mykohl Martin (OL/DL) and Brendan Raymond (WR/DB)
•Top Panthers: D.J. Davenport (OL), Dawaun Green (RB), Jaylen Gilbert (QB), Elijah Hawk (DL), Cole Johnson (LB), Hayden Kaltenecker (WR), Idris Lawrence Jr. (RB), Devin McShan (DB) and Tyce Neu (OL)