Columbus DeSales continues to roll; pounds host Grove City

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DeSales 38, Grove City 7
The DeSales football team is about to embark on the business end of
one of the most back-loaded regular seasons anywhere in the state.
After this weekend, the combined record of DeSales’ final five opponents will be 23-3. With
that in mind, the Stallions 38-7 Week 5 victory at Grove City was just
about the perfect lead-in to what promises to be a grueling gauntlet.


GROVE CITY – The DeSales football team is about to embark on the business end of one of the most back-loaded regular seasons anywhere in the state.

The Central Catholic League power’s second half slate starts with undefeated St. Charles in Week 6. East Central (IN) and LaSalle, it’s eightH and ninth opponents, have one loss each. Bishop Watterson (Week 7) and Benedictine (Week 10) are 4-0 heading into today’s showdown in Cleveland.

After this weekend, the combined record of DeSales’ final five opponents will be 23-3.

ith that in mind, the Stallions 38-7 Week 5 victory at Grove City was just about the perfect lead-in to what promises to be a grueling gauntlet.

DeSales remained unbeaten with a steady if imperfect mauling of the Greyhounds, in what was the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The loss dropped Grove City to 1-4 on the year.

“You really like to have a game like this,” DeSales head coach Ryan Wiggins said. “It’s nice to come out of here with a win and to stay healthy.”

After the hosts tied the game at 7 on the last play of the first quarter, the DeSales defense allowed Grove City to move into its territory just once the rest of the game.

Senior quarterback Thomas Gentile scored on rushing touchdowns of two- and 10-yards. He completed three second quarter passes for 87 yards and accounted for 154 yards of total offense for the game.

“I think the offense is starting to come around,” Gentile said. “And our defense was really strong.”

Perhaps most importantly for DeSales, an interception return for a touchdown midway through the second half gave it enough cushion to rest its starters for the final 14 minutes. Eli Cowan’s 53-yard return with two minutes 19 seconds left in the third quarter staked DeSales to a 31-7 lead and sent its first-teamers to the bench. Wiggins said DeSales did not suffer any major injuries in the win Friday.

After a sloppy start, the state’s No. 3 D-II team in the Ohio High/ONN Power Poll got on track quickly in the second quarter.

A 50-yard connection between Gentile and Kenny Stafford set up DeSales’ second touchdown, a two-yard run by tailback Ryan Clark at 10:32.

Cowan’s first interception gave DeSales the ball in Grove City territory on its next possession. Five plays later Gentile carried the ball up the middle on a second and seven from the Dawgs 10-yard line, taking a host of Grove City defenders with him into the end zone and give the Stallions a 21-7 lead.

Mark Sherman made a 27-yard field goal with 0:03 left in the half, three points that came courtesy of a personal foul on Grove City which negated a sack of Gentile on third and goal.

Grove City’s lone score of the game was a 4-yard pass from Elijah Smurthwaite to tight end Cody Beatty.

The long-term prognosis does not appear great for the Dawgs. Both of Grove City’s quarterbacks had to miss stretches of the game with minor injuries.

More serious was that fullback Brock Snyder, who scored three touchdowns in the team’s Week 4 win over Westerville South, injured his shoulder on the game’s second play with what head coach Scott McIntyre feared was a season-ending injury.

“We’re just too beat-up right now,” said Grove City coach Scott McIntire, whose team opens Ohio Capital Conference play Friday with a visit from the state’s second-ranked DI team Dublin Coffman. “We’ve got a lot of heavy-hitters on our schedule.”

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