The Rams scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes Friday, and never let the Apaches get on track as Tinora stayed alive for a postseason berth with a 38-20 win.
Tinora won the Green Meadows Conference with a 7-0 record. But more importantly, the Rams might have leapfrogged into the Division V, Region 18 playoffs with the win.
“We contained Fairview, and our defensive coordinator had a good game plan,” Tinora coach Kenny Krouse said. “We have gritty young players, and they played well.”
Fairview entered the game 9-0 and averaging 49.2 points and 483 passing yards per game. But the Apaches were held scoreless in the first half, and posted only 231 passing yards for the contest.
“Tinora did a great job against us. They outplayed us in every phase of the game,” Fairview coach Bob Olwin said. “They executed and they won the turnover battle.”
Fairview quarterback Ryan Radcliff, the top passer in northwest Ohio, finished the night 29-for-44 for 231 yards. But after Tinora scored on its opening possession, the Rams intercepted Radcliff’s first pass attempt and returned it to the Apache 27. The Rams tacked on another touchdown on the next play to take a 14-0 lead, and they were never threatened.
Tinora scored in the final minute of the first half to hold a 21-0 lead at intermission.
The Apaches scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half, as Radcliff threw touchdown passes to Nate Yoder and Ben Wonderly.
“We got going in the second half, but we were already down 21,” Olwin said.
Tinora matched Fairview score for score, as Corey Herendeen and Blake Foor scored rushing touchdowns in the second half. Foor, a sophomore, finished with three touchdowns and 135 rushing yards on 30 carries.
“You have to play good defense against Fairview, and you have to maximize your offensive possessions, and that’s what we did,” Krouse said.
Radcliff finishes the regular season 297-of-451 for 4,212 yards and 58 touchdowns. Also on a record-setting pace is Wonderly. The junior receiver snared nine catches Friday, and now has 108 receptions for 1,397 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Fairview will head into Week 11 as a probable 3 or 4 seed in Division V, Region 18.