|Arrows stun Tipp, take command of CBC|
|Written by Jim Dabbelt|
|Wednesday, 17 October 2012 00:00|
It was a game for the ages, and has set the Tecumseh Arrows in the drivers’ seat for a conference football title.
After watching Tippecanoe tie the game with a touchdown in the final second of regulation, the Arrows would step up large in overtime, and when Jeff Helt’s field goal sailed through the uprights, Tecumseh would escape with a 24-21 overtime win over previously unbeaten Tippecanoe in front of a Tipp Homecoming crowd. With the win, Tecumseh takes over sole possession of first place in the Central Buckeye Conference with two weeks to go.
“A lot of bad things happened tonight (turnovers, injuries), but our kids fought through all of that,” Tecumseh coach Kent Massie said. “We made penalties, turned the ball over, but these kids didn’t give up, even when they scored at the end of regulation.”
“We dominated the game, and moved the ball on them all night. The kids did a great job converting some key third down plays.”
It was a tale of both worlds on the opening drive for the Arrows, as they took the kickoff and easily moved downfield, which included a big fourth down play by Chuck Buchanan. On the eleventh play of the drive at the Tipp five yard line, the Arrows fumbled the ball away, and Jacob Cox recovered for Tipp, thwarting the Arrows first chance at a score.
It didn’t take the Red Devils long to answer the Arrows with a drive of their own, but it consisted of only two plays, with the second being an 83-yard scoring run by Jacob Hall, putting the Red Devils up 7-0.
Back came Tecumseh, as they countered their 11-play scoreless opening drive with a 13-play drive, and this time, they capitalized.
Picking up three third-down conversions along the way, Tecumseh tied the game when Christian Evans plunged in from a yard out with 11:34 left in the half.
Tipp didn’t flinch, as Cameron Johnson took the third play from scrimmage and rambled 57 yards for another Tipp touchdown, making it 14-7.
Tecumseh then used a dominant running game and ran off an 18-play 88 yard drive cumulated in a one-yard run by Tony Evans with one minute left until half, sending the teams into the locker room tied at 14.
An amazing stat in the first half, with the exception of the final minute of the half, Tipp City only ran five plays up to that point. And the time of possession was staggering…Tecumseh had the ball over 21 minutes, Tipp just over one minute. But the game was tied.
Tipp moved the ball into Arrows territory on their opening drive of the third period, but an interception by Jimmy Rowland set up the Arrows again. Eleven plays later, the Arrows were sitting at the Tipp 14, but Jacob Cox stepped up and denied a first down for Tecumseh.
Heading into the fourth, Tipp was driving before a huge stop on fourth down at the Arrows 27, which set up the next scoring drive for the Arrows.
Evans carried the ball seven times on the next drive, the final carry from two-yards out, giving the Arrows a 21-14 lead with 4:30 left.
Tipp City then started their drive and converted two fourth downs along the way. It was a crazy final 40 seconds, as Tipp was out of timeouts and was having trouble scoring inside the five.
Twice they scrambled back to the line trying to get the play off, and on the final fourth-down play Johnson scored from two-yards out with 0.2 seconds left, and the pandemonium broke loose with the large Tipp crowd.
In overtime, Hall was stopped on a fourth down at the Arrows 11-yard line, setting up the final Arrows attempt. After a touchdown was called back after Evans stepped out of bounds, Helt ended the drama with a game winning 25 yard field goal.
“We had to win tonight, Tipp is a great rival, undefeated and this was huge for the CBC race,” Massie said. “Tipp is a great team, but we had to win. Our seniors really stepped up tonight.”
“I had total confidence in our entire field goal unit. These kids have waited their entire lives to play in a game like this.”
Meanwhile, a subdued Red Devil coach Charlie Burgbacher, said, "We had our opportunities but didn't capitalize on them."
Tecumseh (6-2) hosts Bellefontaine and Tippecanoe hosts Kenton Ridge (6-2) on Friday night.