Elida made the best use possible of its first playoff appearance in nearly 30 years when it extinguished Tippecanoe’s comeback plans, 26-21, on Saturday in a D-III, Region 10 quarterfinal at City Park. WATCH IT HERE…
Elida made the best use possible of its first playoff appearance in
nearly 30 years when they extinguished the Tippecanoe Red Devils’
comeback plans, 26-21, on Saturday night, November 6, at City Park.
The twilight match up served nicely as a Division III, Region 10
quarterfinal. It was also Elida’s first ever playoff win.
Tippecanoe, 9-1 entering the game while making its sixth consecutive
Division III playoff appearance, watched passively as the visiting
Bulldogs raced to a 19-0 halftime lead, having coughed up two easy
touchdowns in just the first 8 minutes of the first quarter.
The most telling statistic of the evening was Tippecanoe’s
uncharacteristic five turnovers, two fumbles and three interceptions. In
the end, those miscues—plus a blocked punt in the end zone—were enough
to seal the deal for Elida.
“I thought in the first half that we shot ourselves in the foot a
little bit,” Bulldog head coach, Jason Carpenter said. “We should have
taken advantage of the field position that we got and some of the looks
we got on defense.
“I felt going into halftime that it should have been 35-0, but give
credit to Tipp City. They fought back and their kids were resilient”
With the stunning upset, Elida (9-2) moves into Division III Region
10 semi-final action next weekend against playoff perennial, Columbus
Watterson, Saturday, 11/6 (7:00 PM) at Piqua High School’s Alexander
Meanwhile, Tippecanoe’s 2010 football season is done. But by all
accounts. it was a good ride.
“Our kids learned how to come back from adversity,” said Carpenter.
“They were just great. And the ball was really slippery in these (cold)
conditions. If you don’t use two-hands in conditions like this you’ll
“We’ll go back and work on correcting that stuff, even if we have to
tape the ball to their hands.”
Highly regarded Elida junior quarterback, Reggie McAdams
(unofficially, 22-of-32 passes for 248 yards), scored on a 7-yard keeper
on the game’s first possession.
“It was our first playoff victory,” laughed Carpenter. “We’re just
going to stay on the ride and see how far it will take us. If we are
going to beat the winner of Watterson and DeSales than we are going to
have to get better ourselves.
“I think we have the skill to keep up with either of them but we have
to watch our mistakes and not make any stupid penalties.”
Running back, Colin Blymyer (16 rushes for 72 yards and two TDs)
scored from the 2-yard-line on the second.
Those tallies, plus a Nathan Jenkins 40-yard field goal, and a Chris
Biederman (blocked punt) safety resulted in the 19-0 halftime margin.
Blymer had 1,098 rushing yards (5 TD’s) in the regular season.
McAdams, entering the evening, had thrown for 2,327 yards with 31
TD’s and only three interceptions, all of this against traditionally
outstanding Western Buckeye League competition.
“This was the big fantasy, it is the fulfillment of our goals,”
McAdams said after the game. “We’ve been talking about doing something
like this for a long, long time. It is almost too much for me to
Equally accomplished Red Devil P/K/S, Kyle Pignatiello, fumbled the
long snap on fourth down of the first possession of the second half—but
he turned his fortunes around by racing 14 yards to secure a first down.
Nine plays later, Kyle Watkins scored on a quarterback keeper and a
Jake Polansky two-point conversion made the score 19-8.
Unofficially, the Red Devils rushed for 283 for the evening.
“We had some opportunities,” Charley Burgbacher, head coach of the
Red Devils said. “We have to score on those.”
On the last possession of the third quarter, Tipp drove again—and
this time Polansky scored from the one-yard line, but the conversion
failed: Elida 19, Tippecanoe 13.
The Bulldogs the responded by driving the length of the field for
their final score: a one-yard Blymyer off-tackle dive that gave the
Bulldogs a 26-14 lead they would never relinquish.
Although no one knew that at the time.
Tipp took the ensuing kickoff and drove with an authority that they
hadn’t displayed all evening, and when Bourelle scored with 3:29 left in
the game the score was 26-21.
The team that had been in the playoffs so many times before, and knew
just how to win, was suddenly back in the thick of things against the
team that had no playoff experience whatsoever.
It didn’t matter.
Pignatiello—a second-team all-state D-III punter last season, who had
fumbled a snap and had a punt blocked already in the game—tried to
come up big with an unassisted on-side kick recovery.
But it was ruled the Bulldogs ball when it was determined that the
Tipp senior had touched the ball before it had traveled ten yards.
A minute later a still-desperate-to-make-things-right, Pignatiello,
forced another fumble but the Red Devils couldn’t capitalize and the
game ended Elida 26, Tippecanoe 21.
“I though at the time that the first one was a great opportunity, we
were playing defense in the ’50’,” the veteran Tippecanoe coach noted.
“They were surprised, and they weren’t expecting us to come back with
(an onside kick).
“It was on the films that we had, and we were just looking for an
opportunity to do it. On the second one they had their hands team in and
we kicked it away from them, but we came up short. Obviously it was a
yard or half a yard short.”
Watterson beat its longtime natural predator, Columbus DeSales, 14-7
in another Region 10 quarter-final in Columbus on Saturday night.