Cole French passed for three TDs and Joey McCafferty ran for three to lead Eaton to a 41-21 win over Springfield Shawnee in a Division III Region 12 semifinal at Northmont’s Good Samaritan Stadium on Saturday, November 13. Here’s how it went down…
Cole French passed for three touchdowns to lead Eaton to a 41-21 win
over top-seeded Springfield Shawnee in a Division III Region 12
semifinal at Northmont’s Good Samaritan Stadium on Saturday, November
RB Joey McCafferty (81 yards rushing on 17 carries) scored three
touchdowns on the ground for the victorious Eagles, but Shawnee still
manged to outrush the winners 152 yards (on 39 carries) to 118 (36).
WR Zac Wilson also had a tremendous game with 175 yards receiving (on 13 catches).
“We had trouble with their offense” said Shawnee head coach Rick
Meeks. “We got tired just trying to track them down. So, we just bailed
out and tried to make them throw the short stuff in front of us—and
“But they were really athletic on offense and we had trouble with their athleticism.”
This seemingly hotly contested matchup was tied, 21-21, at intermission, but the Southwestern Buckeye
Conference-SW champions found a way to blow away the favorite’s defense
in the second half—all while completely shutting down their offense at
the same time .
“That halftime score was decieving,” Eaton head coach, Ron Neanen said.
“Because they were moving the ball on us. Then we jumped out to a two
touchdown lead (in the second half) and it is hard to over-estimate how
much that meant to our defense.
“Our kids stepped up a couple times, and after that? I knew that we were looking good.”
Looking good? Scoring on your first three possessions, like the
Eagles did in the second half on Saturday night, will help you do that
Write it down.
The junior quarterback—who is still just a first-year starter for the
Eagles—completed 22-of-36 passes for 306 yards. He imposed his will on
Shawnee like a veteran during the second half of this game, and his
future would appear to be bright.
He also managed to gain 28 yards rushing on 13 carries, all while evading a traditionally strong Shawnee pass rush.
“It was all pretty much a blur,” laughed French afterwards. “I was
really just trying to make stuff happen and in the end, I guess that is
what I was able to do.”
He has a lot of things going for him. At 6-foot-4 and 200-lbs French
is impervious to most physical intimidation on the D-III level, and fast
enough to get himself out of a lot of potential trouble as well.
He throws off of his front foot and has a quick, high release (see our film study at MVPhd hosted by JJHuddle.com and Miami Valley Sports Magazine). The man is very well-coached and has a killer’s instincts.
All throat all of the time, this cat wants to slice you up—and he usually does just that.
French is also a formidable basketball player for an always good Eaton team.
Eaton (12-0) is scheduled to meet Cincinnati
Archbishop McNicholas (10-2) in the OHSAA Region 12 final to be held
next Saturday at 7-pm at Mason Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium
McNicholas beat Cincinnati Roger Bacon, 31-14, last Saturday in another Region 12 semi-final.
“Our line kept telling us that we needed to run the ball a little
bit, and (French) did a great job with a couple of audibles that he
called out there. He got people in the right positions.
“Once got up a couple of scores it was then up to our defense to win this thing. It’s so great, it’s a great feeling. I’m so proud of our coaching staff.”
The Braves opened scoring with an 11-yard run by junior
signal-caller, Brad Jarzab, but on their next possession Eaton countered
with a 2-yard run by McCafferty.
Shawnee’s Eric DeWitt scored on a 4-yard plunge, but French hit T.J. Woods with a 9-yard scoring pass to tie the game, 14-14.
Luke Gordin caught another Jarzab touchdown strike with a little over
4 minutes to go in the first half, but French led the Eagles down the
field before finding Andy Holderman in the endzone with just 15 seconds
to go, to tie the score 21-21 going into halftime.
Jarzab, who is one of the better quarterbacks in the Central Buckeye
Conference was 7-for-20 passing, for 72 yards with and inteception for
Shawnee. Alex McCrory led them in rushing yardage with 68 yards on 18
“One of our mottos is to never quit,” Neanen noted. “I think that we
have a lot of confidence in our offense, that we can score and score
“(At halftime) it was just a matter of telling everyone to settle down and to try to play their games.”
Shawnee played well in this game, they just ran out of answers in the
second half. But it should be noted that in the very competitive CBC,
it has been the Braves that have had all of the answers for the last two
And their roster is replete with young, big, and nasty players. Now they’ve had another taste of the playoffs, and they plan on coming back sometime in the near future.
Don’t waste your time feeling sorry for Springfield Shawnee.
“We have nothing to hang our head about,” said Meeks. “Our senior class won two games when they were freshmen, now they are the only team in school history to make back-to-back playoffs.
“We have a lot to look forward to and this class showed us the way.”