TIPP CITY – Trailing 20-13 heading into the fourth quarter, the Tippecanoe Red Devils found themselves in dire straights against the Piqua Indians, a team who was favored in the MVL North.
But a 41-yard field goal by Jackson Kleather early in the fourth cut the deficit to 20-16 and gave the Red Devils the momentum they needed. The Red Devils then took a 23-20 lead on a seven-yard touchdown run by Xavier Jones – a lead Tippecanoe would maintain until the final buzzer sounded.
Piqua opened the scoring with a 21-yard scoring strike from quarterback Brady Ouhl to Colten Beougher in the early moments of the game, but the Red Devils were able to respond with a 34-yard filed goal by Kleather to cut the deficit to 7-3 after one.
Kleather opened the second quarter with an impressive 47-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-6, but Piqua pushed its lead to 14-6 with a well executed drive capped by a short touchdown run by Ky Warner midway through the second quarter.
Tippecanoe managed to close the gap to 14-13 with a 34-yard scoring strike from Liam Poronsky to Stanley Clyne right before the half.
Neither team could get much offense going in the third, but Piqua was able to push its lead to 20-13 with a three-yard scoring run by Sam Schmiesing.
Facing a 7-point deficit entering the fourth quarter against a Piqua defense that had surrendered just 37 points in seven games, things looked very bleak for Tippecanoe entering the fourth quarter.
But the Red Devils showed the grit and toughness of a championship caliber team as they scored 10 unanswered points in the final stanza to hand the Indians a stunning defeat.
Kickers receive very little recognition at the high school level, but for Tippecanoe, Jackson Kleather came up big on Friday as he connected on three field goals from 34, 47 and 41 yards out and converted on two extra points.
Tippecanoe improves its record too 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the MVL, while Piqua drops to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the league.
The Red Devils play Fairborn next Friday and then close out the 2022 regular season at Greenville in week 10.