Loveland Falls to Turpin in Crosstown Showdown
by Ricky Mulvey
On a balmy Thursday night in Mason, the Loveland Tigers went down in a 24-6 loss against the Turpin Spartans. It was the first high-school football game played by Ohio teams this year. After coming off a blowout win in a scrimmage against the Amelia Barons, the Tigers couldn’t seem to keep the football in their hands on offense, and couldn’t seem to get it back on defense. The game was televised on Fox Sports Net where viewers did see promise from the Tigers with their solid offensive line and effective short passes. The long-ball was really the Achilles Heel last Thursday for Loveland, resulting three interceptions.Loveland received to start the game. In a surprise to many Tiger fans, sophomore Ryne Terry started as quarterback, replacing Evan Beck who may be out a few weeks, sidelined with an illness. Loveland flew down the field, thanks to the short passing game. Then, just as they entered the red-zone a 20 yard Ryne Terry pass was intercepted by Turpin’s Walker Brightwell. A few big-yard plays later, Turpin was in the red-zone. But the Tigers were able to compromise their drive to a field goal, to make the score 3-0 to end the first quarter.
The Tigers defense in the second quarter was essentially impenetrable on 1st and 2nd down. They just couldn’t stop the Spartan’s big 3rd down plays. Loveland was finally able to turn the ball over when Turpin got greedy on 4th and 4. Regrettably the next series for the Tigers once again resulted in nothing. Turpin didn’t waste any time when they got the ball back. A 45-yard Eric Martin to J.R. Stoll pass later, Turpin was on the goal line. The following pass extended Loveland’s deficit to 10-0. On the next Loveland turnover, controversy occurred. On a pass intended to Wesley Kyles, the football was clearly never in his possession and the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the play before several Spartans landed on the football, confirmed by multiple reviews on video replay in he press booth. After a long discussion by the officials, the referee who blew his whistle was overruled and Turpin got the ball back. This all happened on Loveland’s 35 yard line and a few successful passes later the Spartans were on the goal line. Turpin’s Will Stocker ran in the touchdown to extend the Spartans lead to 17-0. On the following Loveland drive, a play that would make P.T. Barnum proud, ensued. A Ryne Terry pass bounced off the intended receiver Andrew Lay, then bounced again off a Spartan defender and was finally caught by Loveland’s vigilant Wesley Kyles. Loveland then threw another interception.
The third quarter started with a bang as Turpin recovered their own fumble on the kick-off. A few plays later Loveland’s Graham Peters recovered a different Turpin fumble on the Spartan 15. Moments later Loveland had a 1st and goal at the 4, and a seemingly imminent score. Things turned sour as the Tigers fumbled a pitch and it was recovered by the Spartans. Following a sack by Loveland’s Dave Moran, Turpin had several successful big passes and Eric Martin completed a pass to Shade Whitfield which resulted in a touchdown. The score was 24-0. The following drive Loveland showed the never-say-die attitude that’s going to win them future games. The Tigers used the hurry-up offense successfully, bringing it to the red-zone where they scored with a Ryne Terry to Trevor Henderson pass. The extra point was blocked, and the score was 24-6.
In the fourth quarter, Loveland was finally able to find the antidote to the backbone of Turpin’s offense, Will Stocker - and forced the Spartans to miss a 32 yard field goal attempt. Two, 3-and-outs and a few successful short passes later Loveland had the ball at Turpin’s 10- yard line for a last gasp. Another pick-off by Turpin at the goal line ended the game. Final score a Turpin win, 24-6.
Loveland Senior defensive back, Zach Elias was honored with a trophy for being named Defensive MVP. Elias also ran back two kickoffs for 45 total yards.
The Tigers travel to Lebanon High School on Friday. The Warriors are Division I school and a member of the Greater Western Ohio Conference and play in the South Division. They lost to Kings last Friday 34-21. Lebanon led in all the important stats, however had six penalties and two turnovers. They had 24 first downs to Kings 15, 394 overall yards to 308, and had 201 passing yards to Kings’ 149. Kings however was able to convert 3-3 fourth downs. Lebanon quarterback Luke Morgan threw for 155 yards in 13 of 24 attempts, and Dyllon Miles ran 23 times for 170 yards.
Watch LOVELAND MAGAZINE HD VIDEO highlights and Sport Reporter Ricky Mulvey's post-game roundup.
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