Category Archives: Football

Painting the Town Royal Blue: Central Crossing’s Rise to Relevancy [Column]

CC Pano

66-20. 41-7. 43-6. 51-12.

If you are a part of the Central Crossing alumnae or a fan from 2002-2014, you may not be able to discern which game or season these scores come from, but you do know that the royal blue and silver were not on the winning end. These are all final scores of losses encountered by the 2013 team, all encountered in OCC-Central play to the likes of Hilliard Davidson, Upper Arlington, Thomas Worthington and Marysville. The Comets finished 2-8 and yet again, found themselves looking to the future, hoping that some day they could possibly just have a winning season, let alone a berth in the OHSAA state playoffs.

Oh, the difference a year makes.

Fast-forward to Week 10 of the 2014 season, and you would think the Comets were a perennial contender in Central Ohio. Remember those four losses by 34+ points mentioned above? Yeah, those rematches been turned into four of the biggest wins of school history, each important in their own way, three of which have been by 10+ points.

Arguably the greatest feat was a 21-20 upset win over defending OCC-Central champion Hilliard Davidson, which included stopping the ‘Cats on a two-point play in overtime. Throw in a 35-21 throttling of perennial bully Upper Arlington and you have something special that has never been seen from the boys on Big Run South.

Along with many of my classmates, I stood as a part of the “Comet Crazies” no matter what, win or lose. I do not get how the student section is not filled to capacity each and every week, being loud and proud for a team that is setting new records by the week. Not to sound like an old man, but if from 2006-08 one of our football teams was having a year like this, I’m not sure you would be able to find a quiet fan in the bunch.

But now, the frustrations on fall Friday nights have turned into something much different that the community has picked up on. Sitting at 6-3 and 15th in Division I: Region II, there is a serious chance that the royal blue and silver will complete the #RoadToWeek11, being the first team from Grove City to play in the OHSAA playoffs since 2008.

Before the Comets think about the playoffs, they must first complete their regular season with a win over none other than archrival Westland, which has been more of a kitten than a Cougar since 2008, with Central Crossing winning by an average score of 29-10 in the five meetings between the two schools.

Residing just 5.4 miles from Central Crossing, (Galloway) Westland has been a fair and worthy foe in other sports, and when you think about “Rivalry Week” you must always consider the fact that no matter the records, you will get their best shot. It does not matter if they are 3-6 or 6-3, there is no doubt it will be a close game.

The book about the 2014 Comets has all but been written, and only the final few chapters await their destiny. What now sits before this team is a chance to finish the book with a strong closing statement, forever etching their history with a big royal blue and silver signature all their own.

Kendrick, Saunders big in Dublin Coffman’s win over rival Scioto


DUBLIN, Ohio —   Nearly one year ago, the Dublin Scioto football team was celebrating a 30-13 win over rival Dublin Coffman at home. Fast forward 364 days and the roles have been reversed, as Dre Kendrick rushed for 138 yards and CJ Saunders caught two touchdown passes, leading the Shamrocks to a big 35-7 win over Dublin Scioto on Friday night.

Kendrick’s lone score on the night came 1:29 into the game, as linebacker Chase Granlund picked off Irish quarterback Nathan Densel on the second play from scrimmage, returning the ball inside the Scioto 5.

The score would stay the same until the second quarter, but the Irish surely had chances in the early-going. Holding penalties stalled two drives, negating two long third down conversions. Scioto’s optimal chance for points in the first quarter was all for naught as well, as a fumble inside the Coffman red zone ended their best drive of the night.

Coffman would break through for their second score of the game on a nifty trick play, a double pass from Gunnar Hoak to Kyle Marcinick, who then threw downfield to multi-sport star CJ Saunders. The 41-yard pass would give the Rocks a double digit lead they would not relinquish. The lead would balloon to 21-0 going into halftime as Hoak found Shaun Rankin for a 9-yard strike.

Despite throwing two interceptions, Irish signal caller Nathan Densel had a solid performance, throwing for 178 yards on 14/26 passing. A possible turning point in the third quarter was all for nothing, as a 48-yard touchdown pass from Densel to Cutchember was called back due to a hold. Scioto would score later in the quarter to pull back within 14.

The comeback was on after a three-and-out by Coffman gave the Irish the ball back and it seemed as if the momentum had turned. A third and short pass by Densel fell directly into the hands of Isaac McKinney, returning it 23 yards to the house to quash the rally early in the fourth quarter.

1 2 3 4 F
Dublin Coffman 7 14 0 14 35
Dublin Scioto 0 0 7 0 7
DC Kendrick 1 yard run (Granlund kick)
DC Saunders 41 yard pass from Marcinick (Granlund kick)
DC Rankin 9 yard pass from Hoak (Granlund kick)
DS Penn 31 yard run (Crosa kick)
DC McKinney 23 yard INT return (Granlund kick)
DC Saunders 7 yard pass from Beckett (Granlund kick)

Grove City fends off Hilliard Davidson for season-opening win [Article & Video]

GC Dawgs.Still001

GROVE CITY, Ohio — Defense may win championships, but for now Grove City will be content with just using it to win the season-opener. The Dawgs (1-0) held the vaunted Hilliard Davidson rushing attack to just 81 yards on 39 carries, pulling off a tough 6-0 victory over the Wildcats (0-1). The only score of the night came just minutes into the second half, as running back Peyton Bowyer dashed in from 20 yards out to give Grove City the lead, despite missing the extra point.

Bowyer and the Dawgs were stymied all throughout the first half by Davidson, and only gained a total of 57 yards in the opening two quarters. That all changed after the opening possession of the second half, as a Wildcat fumble would give Grove City the ball inside the Davidson 40. On the second third down of the drive, Bowyer dashed through the line, weaving his way to the end zone for the Dawgs first and only score of the night.

The Dawgs defense matched the intensity of the offense, continuing to come up with one big play after another. Davidson would struggle on their next two possessions as Grove City pressured offensively with Bowyer leading the way. The senior finished the game with 71 yards on 18 carries, including the second-half touchdown.

Hilliard Davidson would get one more chance late in the fourth quarter to take the lead, and after converting two early fourth downs, the momentum seemed to shift in their favor. The Wildcats had moved the ball to the Grove City side of the field for the first time since the opening quarter, and on 3rd & 3 had a chance to move even farther into Dawg territory. The protection for quarterback Jack Klein broke down quickly on the rollout play, and was sacked before he could throw.

The ensuing fourth down pass was off the mark, and the Dawgs held on and ran out the clock to seal the victory.