Knotted 7-7 in the fourth quarter, Loveland marched 58 yards and capped off the drive with a Brian McGohan 34-yard field goal with six seconds left in the game to give the Tigers the win.
McGohan had previously missed a 31-yard attempt in the closing seconds of the first half.
“I am proud to have the final kick,” he said after the game.
McGohan, who is a soccer player and saw his first football action of his career in tonight’s game, settled in after his first attempt.
“It was my first time on the field and I had to make up for the one I missed. It was my second field goal (attempt) ever,” he said.
Loveland trailed 7-0 at halftime after Roger Bacon came out on its first possession of the game and went 72 yards on 11 plays finished off by a 2-yard TD run by Reggie Clay on fourth down.
In the same fashion as Bacon started the game, Loveland came out in the third quarter and scored on the first possession of the half on a 9-play, 53-yard drive. Tigers fullback Charles Mather barreled into the end zone five yards out and the McGohan point after tied the game until late in the fourth quarter when he sealed the win with his foot.
“It was two good teams battling it out and somebody had to win it,” said Loveland head coach Andrew Marlatt. “All the hard work in the offseason paid off and it was a great win.”
Defensively, Loveland allowed only eight Bacon first downs and 198 total yards.
“We cleaned it up a little after the first drive,” said Marlatt. “It was a game right down to the wire and both teams were slugging it out and somebody had to win it. I was just glad it was us.”
Loveland (1-0) tallied 311 yards of total offense paced by quarterback T.J. Howard who was 15-of-28 passing for 160 yards and had 56 yards rushing on 12 carries. Mather, Will Smith and Kirk Morra combined for 86 yards on the ground.
For Bacon (0-1), Clay had 123 yards rushing on 22 carries and the TD in the first quarter.
“We did some good things tonight and there are some things that we are going to have to work on,” said Bacon head coach John Rodenberger.
“We’re excited and it is a new program and I think the kids really built up that emotion in the first drive and sometimes that can be counter productive. We’re young and we are going to have to continue to grow. And we will and this was a good experience for us.
“Loveland had the ball at the right time and they put it in and we didn’t,” he said.
The former Cincinnati McNicholas head coach, Rodenberger made his return to Ohio tonight after coaching for two seasons at Covington Catholic (Ky.).
He led the Colonels to a Class AAA Kentucky state title last year.
“Football is football, school is school, you take off blue and put on brown and it is a good experience. I like the coaches, I like the kids and it is fun.”
Loveland picks up its first win in week one after going 3-7 last year and 0-5 in Fort Ancient Valley Conference play. The Tigers last winning season was in 2002 when they went 8-3 losing to eventual Division II state champion Dayton Chaminade-Juienne in the first round of the playoffs.