Indians even season football record with 14-13 loss to Lincoln

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Tecumseh quarterback Nick Cowen was rushed on his pass attempts with Lincoln forcing three interceptions. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Lining up just outside of the end zone with just 14 seconds remaining in its Friday, Sept. 20, varsity football game Tecumseh’s varsity football team was stopped cold by visiting Lincoln on the one yard line and the Indians lost 14-13.

The Indians attempted to get off one more play as senior quarterback Nick Cowen spiked the football to stop the clock, however the referee called the game complete saying the final second had already ticked off. Tecumseh coach Al Romano was visually upset by the call and argued the fact with the referee to no avail with the Indians record evening out to 2-2 overall with five games remaining in the regular season.

“Upstairs the guys told me the play ended with nine seconds left,” said Romano, “And it doesn’t take us nine seconds to spike a football.”

A 19-yard touchdown pass from Cowen to senior Patrick Beguhn gave the Indians a 13-7 lead in the second quarter. Tecumseh senior kicker Ben Vannatter missed on the point after touchdown (PAT) kick while Lincoln’s Casey McKeon did not on the Railsplitters response late in the third quarter.

Lincoln’s Eugene Smith scampered into the end zone from one yard out on a quarterback keeper and McKeon centered the ball through the uprights to give Lincoln a one-point (14-13) lead with 2:27 remaining in the third quarter.

Smith also scored the game’s first touchdown in the opening quarter and the Railsplitters took a 7-0 lead with McKeon following up with a good PAT.

Tecumseh responded with a touchdown late in the second quarter on a two-yard run by sophomore Mitchell Meger and Vannatter tied the contest 7-7, also connecting on the PAT.

A steady rain fell throughout a majority of the contest and helped create several turnovers. Cowen had three passes intercepted during the game and the Indians fumbled the ball four times, losing two. The Railsplitters fumbled the ball six times and recovered all but one.

Tecumseh outperformed Lincoln in rushing. The Indians rushed for 177-yards to Lincoln’s 109 and accumulated 112-yards passing to their opponent’s 157.

“I thought we had a good plan down there,” said Romano of the final play that ended the game. “I know some people will say ‘why didn’t you run it once and kick the field goal?’”

Romano said if he had planned the kick right away he would have had the offencse center the ball on the field for an easier attempt. “We didn’t want to put that pressure on our field goal kicker,” he said. “He missed an extra point earlier so we were hoping to score on two plays so he didn’t have to kick it. But the third play we were going to kick it, there’s no doubt, after the spike.”

At the beginning of the year Romano mentioned Lincoln would be hard to beat and they proved to be despite a good offensive and defensive effort by the Indians.

“It showed a lot of courage and perseverance by our offense and, basically, our defense held them in check most of the night. But, they were better athletically,” said Romano.

“Our kids played what everybody thought was the league favorite, toe-to-toe with an opportunity to win the darn thing in the fourth quarter and I’m proud of that.”

The Indians remain at home for homecoming on Friday, Sept. 27, hosting Ypsilanti (2-2). Game time is 7 p.m. It will not be a guaranteed win for the Indians, according to Romano.

“They’re a lot like Lincoln, big and fast and aggressive on defense,” he said. “Ypsi is going to be tough.” But, Romano added, the Indians (2-2) will be well prepared.

Tecumseh vs. Lincoln varsity football stats, 9.20.13:
Rushing - Tecumseh, 53-177: Lincoln, 34-109
Passing - Tecumseh, 12-22-112, 3 int, 1TD: Lincoln, 7-17-157, 0 int.
Fumbles/lost – Tecumseh, 4-2: Lincoln, 6-1
Punts - Tecumseh, 5-22.3: Lincoln, 3-29.6
Penalties - Tecumseh, 9-65: Lincoln, 14-85
YL-Smith 5-yard run McKeon, Vannatter kick
Tec-Mitch Meger 2-yard run, Vannatter kick failed
Tec-Beguhn 19-yard pass from Cowen. Vannatter kick
YL-Smith 1-yard run, McKeon kick
Individual offensive leaders, Tecumseh:
Passing: Nick Cowen, 12-22-112 3 Int. 1 TD
Rushing: Mitch Meger, 20-105, Wyatt Cadmus,-6-40, Nick Cowen, 26-33, Jake Treadway, 1- (-1)
Receiving: Patrick Beguhn, 5-66, Preston Pelham, 3-49, Jimmy Terry, 2-25
Individual defensive leaders, Tecumseh:
Tackles: Preston Pelham, 11, Devin Moore, 9, Jake Helvelka, 9, Stephen Bloxam, 6, Ben Vannatter, 5, Hunter Beyer, 5, Luch Giovannone, 4, Silas Rebottaro, 4, Landon Pelham, 3, Travis Bryd, 3, Luke Marsten, 2, Adam Halasz, 2, Cullen Haesler, 2, Patrick Beguhn, 1, Kody McCrate, 1

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