Central Ohio Huddle: Watterson wins state field hockey title


Central Ohio Huddle

Bishop Watterson led central Ohio teams over the past week by capturing
the state field hockey championship with a 1-0 win over Columbus
Academy. Area athletes also ran in the state cross country meet and clinched
spots in the state tournament in boys and girls soccer and volleyball.

Bishop Watterson led central Ohio teams over the past week by capturing the state field hockey championship with a 1-0 win over Columbus Academy. Nina Passen scores off a penalty corner from Sarah Pardt for the Eagles and Domini Paradiso had four saves as Watterson moved to 18-2-1.

Area athletes also ran in the state cross country meet and clinched spots in the state tournament in boys and girls soccer and volleyball.

A second straight week of perfect weather greeted the start of the football playoffs as state powers DeSales, Watterson, Amanda-Clearcreek and others advanced to the Sweet 16, while upsets also occurred, thanks to Marion-Franklin landing a big postseason mark for the Columbus City League.


Marion-Franklin, football: The eighth-seeded Red Devils upset top-seed and state title contender Louisville 14-7 in a Division II regional quarterfinal game. Marion-Franklin (9-2) hit the scoreboard first when Phil Wilkins stripped the ball from the Louisville quarterback and returned it to the two-yard line to step up a touchdown run by Chad Jones on the next play.

Louisville took the lead in the second quarter, but the Red Devils rallied in the third quarter with a one-yard run by Verlon Reed to put Marion-Franklin ahead for good.

The Red Devils stopped Lousiville three times on downs and caused a fumble in the fourth quarter.

Reed completed 12 of 22 passes for 146 yards for Marion-Franklin.


Tyler Gierhart, Amanda-Clearcreek, Football: With tailback Garren Dilley sidelined with a broken leg, Gierhart stepped up to carry the load for the Aces, rushing for 250 yards and scoring three touchdowns in a 42-14 Division IV regional quarterfinal win over Albany Alexander. Gierhart set the tone on his first carry, running 69 yards to put Amanda-Clearcreek, which is in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, ahead.


More history for Orange: Corey Joe intercepted a pass from Dresden Tri-Valley’s Clay Cameron with four ticks remaining to preserve a 28-21 Olentangy Orange lead and notch the second-year school its first playoff win.

The Pioneers, 9-2, seemed to be in control of a Division II regional quarterfinal game with two field goals from Lucas Rice and touchdown scampers by Blake Joe and Brandon Schoen gave Orange a 13-point lead.

Cameron rallied Tri-Valley back to take a 21-20 lead, but Orange rallied with a five-yard run by Schoen putting the Pioneers ahead for good.

Gresham sends Bulldogs to win:
Heath tailback Charles Gresham had 25 carries for 146 yards and scored five touchdowns as Heath defeated visiting Zane Trace 48-9 in a Division IV regional quarterback game.

Second try works:
Grove City Christian won its first playoff game by avenging a loss earlier this season to Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans with a 28-0 Division VI regional quarterfinal win. Jessie Burns scored two touchdowns and rushed for 197 yards for GCC. Luke Smurthwaite scored a touchdown and had 46 yards rushing, and Christopher Bowman threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Brad Saxton for Grove City Christian, which fell 10-7 to Rosecrans last month.

Tigers win Pickerington rematch:
More than 6,000 fans crammed Tiger Stadium for the first football playoff game between crosstown rivals as Central defeated North for the second time this season, 14-12, in a Division I regional quarterfinal game. The Tigers scored on a three-yard run by Willie Tatum and a 13-yard reception by Tamani Carter.

Miracle comeback:
Unbeaten Logan Elm had its back to the wall after dropping the first two games by 15-25 scores to Kettering Alter in a Division II volleyball regional championship game.

Then in the third game, an Alter overpass came over that Logan Elm’s Paige Penrod rocketed straight down for a kill.

The play and stepping up its defense helped Logan Elm to win the next three games 25-22, 25-22 and 15-12 to advance to the school’s first volleyball state tournament appearance.

Penrod had 34 kills and 20 digs for the Lady Braves.

Coffman, Hartley move on:
Two other central Ohio volleyball teams also advanced to the state tournament as Dublin Coffman knocked off Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 20-25, 25-18, 25-22 and 25-22 in a Division I regional title match and Bishop Hartley defeated Uhrichsville Claymont 25-19, 25-21 and 25-21 in a Division II regional title match.

Liston leads central Ohio runners:
Most of the state hardware from the cross country meet at Scioto Downs went to teams and individuals outside of central Ohio, but Circleville senior Brad Liston finished as state runner-up in the Division II boys race with a 15:58.18.

Soccer Final Four bids clinched:
Gahanna led central Ohio teams in qualifying for state tournaments in boys and girls soccer by pitching its 17th shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over Olentangy Orange in a Division I boys regional final game.

Chris Davis had the goal for the Lions, which moved to 20-0-1 on the season.

Worthington Christian also advanced to state in Division III with a 2-1 win over South Webster, paced by Quinn Miller and Brett Elder scoring second half goals for 16-1-4 WC.

In Division II, Bexley and DeSales advanced to meet each other last night in a Division II state semifinal match.

On the girls side, Dublin Coffman clinched a Division I regional title with a 2-1 win over Upper Arlington. The Rocks, 13-5-3, scored two goals in the second half from Bailey Wilson and Grace Filler.

Bexley also advanced with a Division II regional championship.


State volleyball tournament, Thursday-Saturday at Wright State Nutter Center: Dublin Coffman, Logan Elm and Bishop Hartley will try to bring home state hardware to central Ohio. Coffman opens state play on Thursday at noon against Stow-Munroe Falls, followed by Bishop Hartley taking on Parma Padua Franciscan at 4 p.m. on Friday and Logan Elm matching up against Mentor Lake Catholic at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Brookhaven (9-2) vs. Logan (11-0) playoff football, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Hamilton Township:
Brookhaven advanced with a 27-20 win over Walnut Ridge, but faces a tall order to contain Logan quarterback Patrick Angle and the undefeated Chieftains in this Division II game.

Fredericktown (11-0) vs. Wheelersburg (9-2) playoff football, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Nelsonville-York:
The Freddies improved to 11-0 last week with a 47-7 drilling of Caldwell, but most contend with traditional southern Ohio power Wheelersburg to try and advance to a Division V regional title game.

Dublin Coffman (11-0) vs. Westerville South (9-2) playoff football, Saturday at 7 p.m. at Upper Arlington:
Coffman opened the Division I playoffs with a 34-12 win over Springfield while South slammed Olentangy Liberty 50-14. South has won nine straight games after starting the season 0-2.

Hilliard Davidson (9-1) vs. Pickerington Central (10-1) playoff football, Saturday at 7 p.m. at Gahanna:
Davidson opened the playoffs with a 28-7 win over Lancaster and Central beat Pickerington North 14-12. This Division I game matches two of the top programs in central Ohio over the last decade.

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