State title dreams end for three area teams

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 Photo courtesy of Groveport Madison Local Schools
 Nick Goodrich takes a handoff and churns for yardage in Groveport Madison’s 16-3 state football playoff loss to Hilliard Darby on Nov. 10.

State championship hopes were dashed in the cold November night as three area high school football teams saw their 2007 playoff runs end in the second round.

On Nov. 10, perennial power Pickerington Central was beaten by undefeated Dublin Coffman 35-9 and Groveport Madison fell to Hilliard Darby 16-3; while on Nov. 9,  Canal Winchester lost to Lemon-Monroe 47-21.

Groveport Madison and Canal Winchester were making their first playoff appearances since 1988.

Pickerington Central and Dublin Coffman were tied 7-7 at halftime, but the Shamrocks exploded for 21 third quarter points and cruised to the 35-9 victory in a game played at Gahanna. The Ohio Capital Conference (OCC) Cardinal Division champion Tigers finished the year 11-1. Pickerington Central has made the state playoffs four out of the last five years – including finishing as state runner up last year – and have won three OCC titles in five years.

Groveport Madison had defeated Hilliard Darby 34-17 in an emotional final regular season game in Groveport on Oct. 26, a win that propelled the Cruisers into the playoffs. In that game the Cruisers forced eight turnovers. However, in the Nov. 10 playoff game held at Upper Arlington, Hilliard Darby was more surehanded with the ball and came away with a hard fought 16-3 win with Groveport’s only points coming on a Jordan Elmore field goal. Groveport Madison finished the season with a record of 8-4.

Canal Winchester finished the year with a 10-2 record following its 47-21 playoff loss to Lemon-Monroe on Nov. 9 in Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. Turnovers plagued the  Indians who fell behind 34-7 at halftime and could not recover. The 2007 season was a big turnaround for the Mid-State League champion Indians, who in 2006 had finished 2-8.

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