Just like in every other game London Red Raiders play, the Circleville Tigers knew KJ Price was going to get the ball.
And just like the others before them, the Tigers could not stop him.
Price, the London running back, scored four touchdowns in the same number of carries for 210 yards in an 81-7 lopsided affair Fiday night. The Red Raiders trounced the visiting Tigers on their murky Homecoming eve.
“He goes from zero to 60 better than I’ve seen – and I’ve been around some special guys,” said London head coach Kyle Cutler. “He again showed why he is one of the best backs in the state of Ohio.”
Lightning struck three times in the first four-plus minutes of the game.
First, Price took the hand-off and ran passed all defenders down his own sideline for a 57-yard touchdown jaunt.
Second, following the first of a plethora of strong defensive stances by London on the night, Price took off on what looked like the identical play and flew by everyone for an incredible 70-yard scoring scamper.
Third, in a scene that appeared to be right out of the movie “The Natural,” a flash of lightning appeared as Price approached the endzone. That prompted a close-to-an-hour delay due to weather.
When the teams finally returned to the field, Red Raider kicker Eric Noble tacked on the extra point to officially end London’s second scoring drive.
Circleville quarterback Will Tolbert was under constant pressure the entire night from the likes of Red Raiders Brandon Leach and Nate Wells (and others), and when the Tigers did make it past the line of scrimmage, players such as Bricker Theil and Xavier Manville were there waiting.
But the night was about the entire Red Raiders team, and not just that they could score, but showcasing their quick-striking abilities on all sides of the ball.
To demonstrate this, London scored three more times in the final five minutes of the first quarter.
Brennan Spiess used just two runs to cover London’s 60-yard drive, the second touch resulted in a 39-yard touchdown.
Once they got the ball back, Price showed he could run through people as well as he could run passed them as he broke several tackles on his way to a 28-yard TD.
To conclude the first quarter scoring, the Red Raiders defense decided to get into the act as Antoine Pooka Burns had a textbook “scoop-and-score,” picking up a fumble, then not breaking stride all the way to paydirt.
The defense continued to shine in the second quarter as London’s Jack Gould and Richie Geib came up with big tackles.
With the London defense constantly regaining the possession for the Red Raider offense, the football quickly found its way back in its most comfortable spot – the arms of Price. The senior sensation capped off a quartet of touchdowns on the night just three minutes into the second stanza as he cruised into the endzone seemingly effortlessly from 55 yards away.
London special teams joined the party as Noah McClintock returned a punt for a touchdown, and Red Raider kicker Noble put an exclamation point on the 56-7 halftime lead with a 43-yard field goal as time expired before the intermission. Sandwiched in between was a 20 yard TD run by London’s Tyler Tobin.
With Circleville mercifully receiving a running clock by rule in the second half, London still registered three touchdowns (two by Caleb Sollars, one by Dylan Combs) and a safety to reach the final score.
Deserving special mention was London’s very busy kickoff team, led by the tackling brilliance of Jackson Jones.
London travels to Columbus Academy next Friday as they continue their farewell tour in their current league.