Mike Dyer reports:
With tears in his eyes, Mikel Horton stood on the field Saturday night trying to comprehend what occurred in his final high school football game at Lakota West.
“I can’t believe it’s over,” Horton said. “That’s the hardest thing.”
Pickerington Central defeated host Lakota West 38-28 in the Firebirds’ first-ever home playoff game Saturday night in a Division I, Region 2 football playoff game.
Horton, who is verbally committed to the University of Kentucky, rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns for the Firebirds. Horton said it wasn’t a “bad loss” but still felt the Firebirds should’ve won the game.
Despite the loss, Horton said he was proud of the season and the Greater Miami Conference championship. He said he will most remember the family atmosphere and the team chemistry.
Pickerington Central (8-2) advances to play Colerain (11-0) in a Division I, Region 2 second round game at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at a site to be determined. The Ohio High School Athletic Association plans to announce the sites of all 56 regional semifinal locations Sunday afternoon.
Lakota West coach Larry Cox said he was very proud of the season.
“The worst part that I have to do is I have to give up 34 seniors that I will never get to coach again,” Cox said. “And that’s really hard because this is a special group.”
Lakota West (9-2) hosted its first home playoff game in school history Saturday night in front of a festive atmosphere. The Firebirds made their fourth postseason appearance and the first since 2009. The Firebirds also made appearances in 2004 and ’06.