Pickerington Central pulled away from host Trotwood-Madison to avenge a 2017 loss and win 42-19 Friday in one of the top early-season matchups in the state this season.
The game matched the defending state champions in Division I (Pickerington Central) and Division III (Trotwood-Madison).
» GAME PHOTOS: Rams vs. Tigers
The Tigers (3-0) took control midway through the third quarter, scoring on Terry Simuel’s 82-yard kickoff return and Jaquwon Crawford’s 85-yard interception return, stretching a 14-13 lead to 28-13. Two touchdown runs by by Demeatric Crenshaw sealed the victory.
The Rams (1-2) lost their second straight game. Keon’tae Huguely scored on a 1-yard run to cut the Tigers’ lead to 14-13 early in the third.
Huguely completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Justin Stephens for the Rams’ only other score in the second half.
Pickerington Central built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Jamir Jackson capped the first drive of the game with a 2-yard touchcdown run.
Trotwood-Madison cornerback Sammy Anderson ended Pickerington Central’s second scoring chance with an interception at the goal line, but Pickerington Central’s Dom Marasco got the ball right back with an interception, returning it to the Trotwood-Madison 1-yard line. Jackson capitalized on the turnover with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Rams got back into the game by recovering at the Pickerington Central 43-yard line. Trotwood-Madison then faced 4th-and-goal from the 8 and scored when Isaiah Winchester caught a tipped pass inside the 1 and dove into the end zone, cutting the deficit to 14-7. That remained the score at halftime.
This was the second straight season the teams played. They also met in the third week of the 2017 season.
Trotwood-Madison won 28-19 at Pickerington Central on their way to a 15-0 season. Markell Stephens-Peppers threw four touchdown passes in the game for the Rams, and Ra’veion Hargrove ran for 160 yards. It was the only loss of the season for Pickerington Central, which finished 14-1.