Dublin Jerome rides second half defense to win

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Dub. Jerome 28, West. Central 3

After a disappointing 2-8 season a year ago, the Dublin Jerome High School football team was hoping to kick off 2007 with a strong performance against Westerville Central. The Celtics turned in a solid overall effort in cruising to a 28-3 win at home.


DUBLIN – After a disappointing 2-8 season a year ago, the Dublin Jerome High School football team was hoping to kick off 2007 with a strong performance against Westerville Central.

The Celtics turned in a solid overall effort in cruising to a 28-3 win at home.

Jerome displayed its new passing offense in the first half and then effectively established its traditional double wing offense in the second to pull away.

The Celtics added a punishing defense to turn back the defending OCC-Central Division champs.

Jerome ran a double wing, ground-oriented offensive attack in its first three seasons, but coach Mark Hundley and his staff have added a wide-open passing scheme to the game plan.

That passing attack led to the game’s first score as junior quarterback Kevin Jackson’s first completion was a 74-yard touchdown strike to junior Robert Carmona midway through the opening quarter.

Jackson passed for 129 yards.

Ben Buchanan, an Ohio State recruit, accounted for the Warhawks’ lone points when he booted a 47-yard field goal with 1:23 left in the first quarter.

The Celtics threatened to add to their lead in the second quarter, but Taylor Miller picked off a pair of Jackson passes and JaQuan Lawson added an interception to thwart scoring threats.

With his team holding a slim lead at the half, Hundley went back to his double wing offense in the second half to take control.

Jackson capped a time-consuming 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive to open the half with a 5-yard touchdown run.

Ricky Kovatch accounted for 48 yards on drive. He finished with 65 yards on eight carries, all in the second half.

Kovatch capped another long drive on the Celtics’ next possession as he scored on a 4-yard touchdown run 2:35 into the final quarter.

Jerome’s defense capped the scoring as Marshall Burkhart intercepted a Keegan Varner pass and dashed 55 yards for a touchdown.

The Jerome defense limited the Warhawks to just 37 yards in the second half.

Burkhart added a fumble recovery, and Cody Burris, Ben Hartman and Christian Castilla each had interceptions.

“A fantastic way to open the season,” Hundley said. “Going against a (coach) Bob Fresch team is a lot of fun. We got sloppy in the second quarter. I think we were over-coaching with play calling, getting kids into positions they shouldn’t be in, so at halftime we just settled down and said let’s start playing Celtic football. I’m a run guy, so we had to establish the run. We did more than establish it, we took the run, and we just ran it and ran it and ran it.”

“To be able to come out and throw like we did and then to be able to run the ball like I like to run it, and then to play the defense. We had pretty good special teams – not perfect specials team – but pretty good. The defense was just spectacular. You can’t ask for more.”

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