It was a Division I Region 3 match-up that featured: A breathtaking 98-yard kick return; Rock Me Amadeus; “The Ditch”; and The best secondary in the state? Saturday’s MVP HD Game of the Week was all Pick Central…
Video By Alex Sator
Tigers roll the Rocks; Pickerington Central wins convincingly 55-14
By Tim Langevin
An elixir overdose of offense, defense, and special teams doomed Dublin Coffman. Pickerington Central set the tone early, scoring on its first five possessions, including 28 points in the second quarter, for a convincing 55-14 win Saturday in the big boys division at “The Ditch”.
“We came out clicking,” Central head coach Jay Sharrett said. “We were fortunate to hit a crease here and there and get up 14-0 early and we started to roll from there. Happy to win a game and go to the second round. I know we started the season 0-2, but the guys fought hard in those games. We are clicking now.”
Hilliard Davidson coach Brian White wasn’t kidding when he said that Central is the team to beat in Region 3. These two teams are headed on a collision course in the regional finals in two weeks. The top-seeded Wildcats defeated Coffman 14-0 in Week 8.
Not that one player would make that big of a difference in this game, but it should be noted that Coffman WR Marcus Davis didn’t play, serving a two-game suspension for violation of team rules. In nine games, Davis caught 64 passes for 907 yards and eight TDs and returned three punts for TDs.
“It was a dominant performance on their part,” Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said. “I don’t know if they’ve played a better game all year. There offensive line is big and aggressive. Their running backs didn’t get touched until they were five yards downfield.”
One reason was Ohio State-bound Jacoby Boren. On Billy Eakins’ 41-yard TD run before half to make it 35-0, when Eakins slipped at the line of scrimmage, Boren hoisted him up and sent him on his way. Credit Boren with the assist.
The 6′ 3″, 290-pound left guard comes from a pedigree of big-time football talent. His father played LB at Michigan. Older brother Justin played for Michigan for one season and then transferred to OSU to finish out his career. He made First Team All-Big Ten in 2010. Zach Boren is a junior starter at FB for the Buckeyes.
“Our O-Line played well. We have been clicking the past couple of weeks,” said Boren. “Having the weapons we have making big plays, makes it easy on us.”
Speaking of big plays, another Buckeye-bound player Roger Lewis showcased his skills, scoring on an 81-yard TD reception from Nick Jensen-Clagg in the second quarter and a breathtaking 98-yard kick-off return for a score to open the second half. The Tigers led 42-0.
Lewis has returned four kick-offs this season, three for TDs. Not a bad percentage. He also has two punt returns for TDs.
Lewis said, “This whole team is my brothers. This was the last time for us in the ditch. I want my team to go all the way. This is just one win. It’s the playoffs. Coach always says playoff speed.”
Coffman’s two scores came after trailing 49-0. Ian Flinders scooped up a fumble and returned it 15-yards for the score and Austin Knisley scored on a 44-yard reception from QB James Walsh.
Freshman QB Christian Whitner capped the Central scoring with a nifty 78-yard TD run.
Central improves to 8-2 and faces Gahanna Lincoln in the second round Saturday at Upper Arlington. The Lions defeated Westerville Central 38-21 this same night. The Tigers defeated Gahanna week five 28-7.
Sharrett said, “Enjoy this one for about another 45 minutes and then get ready for Gahanna. I don’t put a lot of credence in that first win. Everybody is 1-0 now.”
Plenty of stars in this game for Central. Senior RB Devon Penick rushed for 95 yards on six carries and two TDs. Senior QB Jensen-Clagg completed 6-of-7 passes for 166 yards and one TD. Whitner rushed for 96 yards on four carries in a back-up role.
“Our quarterback is throwing the ball real well right now,” said Sharrett. “He is in command of the offense. When he rolls out, he sees the coverage and makes the right reads.”
Central DB Jordan Gaines made a diving interception at Coffman’s 39-yard-line, setting up the TD run by Penick on the next play, which gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. That broke the game wide open.
Coffman drops to 8-3 and out of the playoffs, losing three of their last four games. The Rocks were limited to 69 total yards in the first half with just 10 yards rushing on 12 carries.
A total shut down by one of the best secondary units in the state. Sebastion Smith, Lewis, Marcus Milton, and Eakins have combined for nine picks and allow an average of 75 yards passing a game.
Milton said, “We practice flying to the ball every day. Our motto is pressure beats coverage any day. As long as our linebackers and defensive ends and down tacklers get the pressure, the picks will be there. We like to mix it up. Show man, go zone. Show zone, go man. Show blitz, go zone or man. Keep the offense guessing.”
One of those down linemen is 6′ 3″, 300-pound Adam Cole, “We are a playoff defense. We look to come out and hit on every play. This game was important for us seniors because it was our last game at the ditch. We came out swinging and we feel confident no matter who we play.”
Sharrett concluded, “Our guys love to play football. They love to practice. They love to lift. They love to run. It’s crazy, but they love to compete. It gets very competitive in practice, to the point of fighting each other. They love to play and prepare to play.”
And so, there you have it. Two games in two nights. Take a few days to rest up and then get ready for another MVPhd double-shot weekend.