XENIA-When the scoreboard had Xenia up 20-0 Friday night, it appeared the Buccaneers were about to do what they did to Troy and Piqua earlier in the season…total domination on both sides of the ball. However, Coach Matt Burgbacher and the Tippecanoe Red Devils had none of that and rattled off 22 unanswered points and it looked as if the only undefeated team in the MVL at the end of the night would be one from Miami County.
Tipp took advantage of several Xenia mistakes and kept cutting into that lead. A personal foul on Xenia after a Red Devils touchdown allowed Tipp to try an on side kick which they recovered, more penalties, a fumble and and Jackson Kleather tied the game with a 47 yard field goal and the momentum had swung to the Red Devil’s side.
More miscues by the Buccaneers forced them to punt from deep inside their own territory and Tippecanoe’s Lukas Walker blocked it for a safety and a 22-20 lead and the ball.
The Tipp defense held Xenia in check for most of the second half when the Buccs took over in their own territory late in the 4th quarter trailing by 2. Tipp then saw a steady diet of Xenia’s Trei’Shaun Sanders running and ate up a lot of time and led to a 10 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Gavin McManus to Tremell Wright with less than a minute to play and put the Buccs up 26-22 and the extra point made it 27-22 score with 41 seconds left. Many of us on the sidelines thought Xenia would run down the clock and kick a game-winning field goal from the 10 but with the offensive firepower they possess, you go with what got you there.
Tipp got the ball back and tried a hook and ladder play but the 4th down try was short and Xenia took over on downs and ran out the clock.
Tippecanoe’s Cael Liette had 2 short touchdown runs filling in for injured Xavier Jones who had 63 yards on 13 carriers before leaving the game. Tipp quarterback Liam Poronsky led the Red Devils with 66 yards rushing and Jackson Kleather added two field goals and two extra points.
Tippecanoe plays at Troy Friday night and then hosts Piqua the following week for a second place showdown in the MVL.