There has officially been a changing of the guard in the Cincinnati Turpin-Kings Mills Kings rivalry. After eight straight losses to its Fort Ancient Valley Conference Cardinal division foe, Turpin has taken two straight from Kings, including Thursday night’s 33-7 slashing of the Knights.
Matt Natali was on hand and has the details.
KINGS MILLS – There has officially been a changing of the guard in the Cincinnati Turpin-Kings Mills Kings rivalry.
After eight straight losses to its Fort Ancient Valley Conference Cardinal Division foe, Turpin has taken two straight games from Kings, including Thursday night’s 33-7 slashing of the Knights in front of approximately 3,800 fans at Kings Stadium.
Turpin defeated Kings 24-7 last season to break the Knights winning streak in the series on the way to a conference title and a state semifinal finish.
Behind sophomore RB Wayne Dunham’s 226 yards rushing on 29 carries and a TD, Turpin improved to 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in the FAVC.
“I think I played (well). It was a big game and I just played well,” Dunham said. “I am proud of (our offensive line) and happy they played (well).”
With the conference lead and top ranking in Cincinnati on the line, the youngster felt anxious before the game started.
“I was kind of nervous and had butterflies and everything but after the first play I felt more comfortable and settled in,” he said.
Kings (5-2, 1-1) got on the board first scoring on the first possession of the game marching 86 yards in nine plays capped off by an 11-yard scoring run by Conner Wayre.
But that was about all the offense Kings could muster on the night as Turpin scored 33 unanswered points holding the Knights to 198 yards of net total offensive yards (142 rushing, 74 passing).
“I was proud of the way we played the first half, we just had too many breakdowns in the second half,” Kings head coach Andy Olds said. “When you’ve got a team as potent as Turpin, seven points is not going to get it done. They are a very good football team. Obviously, seven points isn’t going to win very many ball games, especially against Turpin.”
Turpin answered Kings’ opening score going 80 yards on 12 plays with signal caller Ryan Martin taking the ball in from 1-yard out on the quarterback-keeper. Kings held the 7-6 lead, though, as the Eric Platek point after attempt was blocked by Andy Dauner.
Platek got Turpin on the board twice more in the first half, however, splitting the uprights on 31-yard and 41-yard field goals, respectively.
The Spartans opened the second half with the ball and went to work fast orchestrating an 80-yard, 11 play drive with FB Jeff Groene pounding the ball in from 1-yard out to put Turpin up 19-7 with the Platek point after.
Following a Kings punt on the Knights ensuing posession, Turpin took over on its own 26. The Spartans put the ball in Dunham’s hands with a 17-yard gain on first down followed by a 57-yard TD run in which he got key blocks from receivers Andy Cruse and Charlie Seibert down field.
The Platek point after gave Turpin the 26-7 edge.
The Spartans added one more score in the final frame starting the TD drive on the Kings 40 after a Knights fake punt attempt failed to net a first down. On the third play of the possession, Martin connected with a wide-open Seibert for a 35-yard TD strike. Platek's point after gave Turpin the final 33-7 win.
The 26-point loss is the largest margin of defeat Kings has suffered since losing to Trenton Edgwood 33-6 in the 2003 regional finals.
“I expected it to be a close football game with a field goal deciding it,” Turpin head coach Rob Stoll said. “(Kings is) a good, talented football team but they just have a lot of guys that go both ways and with tonight being unusually hot I think it was to our advantage.”
Dunham added, “I thought it would be a close game just like coach (Stoll) said with maybe a field goal deciding it.”
Martin went 9-of-15 passing on the night for 133 yards and the TD to Seibert, who tallied 54 yards receiving on two catches.
Miami (Oh.) recruit Cruse reeled in five catches for 55 yards.
Warye, who missed the last three games with a sprained left knee, had 100 yards rushing for Kings on 13 carries and the Knights lone TD. He had 63 yards alone in the first quarter on four carries.
“For not playing for three weeks, I thought he did a nice job,” Olds said.
Kings QB Bruce Ernest was 8-of-16 passing for 74 yards and an INT.
Of Kings’ 198 yards of total offense, 129 came in the first half. Turpin held Kings to just 67 net offensive yards in the second half and did not allow Kings to get past midfield once.
“Hopefully, if we play our cards right and play hard the rest of the way out we might see them again,” Olds said referring to a potential Region 8 playoff match up. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Stat of the Night
Turpin had a total of seven first downs in the first half. On the opening TD drive of the second half, the Spartans had six first downs.