South, host nDover extracted revenge Friday with a 11-7 win in a Division III, Region 11 quarterfinal. The Tornadoes started the season 0-3, but have now won eight straight.
It was a rematch of a Thursday night season opener played at Canton South. The Wildcats won that one 28-21, but this was a different Dover team. The Tornadoes have grown from a team that began the 2007 season 0-3 to one that has now won eight straight and an East Central Ohio League championship. Dover advanced to the regional semifinals with an 11-7 victory.
The Tornadoes and Wildcats both run their version of a spread offense, but this night it was to be defense that would be the difference.
“We fought hard defensively,” said Dover head coach Dan Ifft. “I am pretty disappointed in our offense, but I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, we did win a football game, we are in the tournament and we are on to round two.”
All of the scoring took place in the second quarter. The Wildcats lit up the numbers first as quarterback Matt Trissel connected with Brad Hebert for his 14th touchdown pass of the season. Jake Shahan added the PAT to give South a 7-0 lead at the 8:34 mark
Dover marched methodically down the field on an 18 play drive that covered 76 yards and ate 7 minutes and 16 seconds off the clock. Ryker Marsh dove over the pile into the end zone to cap the drive. Dover called a timeout and Ifft opted for the two-point conversion. “My long snapper had a busted up hand, so we had no choice at that point,” Dover’s coach explained. Dover quarterback Corey Lisowski found Aaron Rees in the corner of the endzone for the deuce to give Dover an 8-7 lead.
Dover defense held South and got the ball back for the offense with a little over a minute left in the first half. The Tornadoes were out of timeouts and after running four plays they were in the middle of the field with 12 seconds remaining. Ifft rushed the field goal unit onto the field and got the snap off as the last second ticked off the clock. Matt Rinehart split the uprights to make it 11-7.
The second half was a predominately defensive affair. The Wildcats offensive woes were complicated when Trissel went out with a dislocated knee cap early in the third quarter. Sophomore Mark Trissel took over and gave the Wildcats had one last shot at the win throwing into the end zone with a single second remaining. Dover’s Ian Drapcho tipped the ball but South’s Jerald Robinson got under the ball but could not find the handle and Dover escaped with the win.
“Offensively we turn the ball over two times in the fourth quarter, when we are in the red zone,” said Ifft following the game, “You just can’t do that and expect to win playoff football so we are very fortunate we will move on.”
With the win, the Tornadoes advanced to face Northwest in the regional semis next Friday night.