Indians lose control of Jets, fall 11-10

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Tecumseh center Joey Rebottaro (73) and Alex Spiteri (66) prepare for the snap while lined up in front of an Airport defender. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Rain and mud factored into Tecumseh’s final regular season non-conference game at Carleton Airport on Friday, Oct. 19, but more than that was determination as the Jets rallied in the final minute to beat the Indians 11-10 with a gutsy two point conversion call.

Tecumseh was leading 10-3 with only 32.5 seconds left in the contest when the Jets put up a long desperation pass on a fourth down and eight-yard situation. The pass was off target but Tecumseh was called for pass interference and the Jets set up on the Indians 20-yard line with 26.5 seconds to work with. The Indians were again called for pass interference on the following play when Brandon Pokcova threw a touchdown pass to Dante Patterson to tie the game. The Jets declined the penalty and sent in their offensive line to go for all the marbles instead of tying the game with a point after touchdown kick. Pokcova scored on a quarterback keeper and the Jets had all the points needed to win the game.

“It was a gutsy call, but probably in the long run, the smart call,” said Tecumseh coach Al Romano of the Jets taking an all or nothing outlook on the two-point conversion attempt.

The Indians had 21.1 seconds left on the clock but were unable to score with the Jets’ defense shutting down Tecumseh quarterback Ben Dreslinski.

A pass interception on the Indians first offensive play of their first possession was a good indication that this would be an exciting game. However neither team was able to cross the end zone in the first quarter of play.

“Basically, we didn’t play very well and I don’t think we coach very well,” said Tecumseh coach Al Romano. “For whatever reason, it wasn’t a very good night.”

Tecumseh punted the ball to the Jets early in the second quarter and a break out run put Airport on the Indians’ 15-yard line with a first down. Airport fumbled the ball but also recovered it and then received a delay of game flag that pushed them back to a 3rd-and-17 on Tecumseh’s 21-yard line. Kyle Bryan tackled the Jets for a loss on the play and Airport then decided to try for a field goal and had Dylan Raisanen split the uprights on a 42-yard kick for a 3-0 lead in the second quarter.

The Indians punted on their following possession but a fumble recovery by Charlie Haesler had the Indians on the Jets’ 36-yard line with 26 seconds remaining in the opening half. On Tecumseh’s first play, Dreslinski threw a pass to about the 10-yard line and the Jets intercepted it to close out the first half.

“We had three possessions in the first half where I felt we should have scored and we just did not execute,’ said Romano.

Screams of “Don’t get outcoached,” came from Airport’s stands after Tecumseh drove the ball to four first downs on its second possession of the third quarter. A fifth first down was handed to the Indians when the Jets were called off sides and the ball was set up on Airport’s 42-yard line. A couple of plays later Dreslinski threw the ball to Spencer Adams and he scrambled 35-yards into the end zone for the game’s first touchdown with 43.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter. A good PAT kick by Casey Hunt gave the Indians a 7-3 lead going into the final quarter.

Tecumseh’s defense forced the Jets to punt the ball on their ensuing possession and then drove the ball deep into the Jets’ territory. Spencer Hite ran the ball to a first down on Airport’s 1-yard line with 4:32 left in the game. A fumble recovered by Dreslinski pushed the Indians back to the four yard line and a one-yard gain on the next play left Tecumseh with a third and goal situation. A high hike went past the hands of Dreslinski and landed on the seven-yard line, giving the Indians just one more attempt to get into the end zone. Instead of going for the touchdown, the Indians settled for a three point field goal and held a 10-3 lead with just 2:18 remaining in the game.

The Jets started their next possession on their own 22-yard line after the kick off and drove the ball across the field to Tecumseh’s 35-yard line. With no time outs the clock was stopped on an incomplete pass and the Jets stepped to the ball with 32.5 second remaining on a 4th and 10 situation. The Indians gave the Jets a first down on the ensuing pass interference call and they took full advantage of the situation to win the game.

“The penalties really hurt us on that last drive, without a doubt,” said Romano.

Tecumseh totaled 163-yards from passing and added another 155 yards rushing. Dreslinski completed 8-of-19 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown and rushed 11 times for another 49 yards.

Hite carried the ball 17 times for 74 yards while Adams rushed five times for 34 yards and caught two passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Preston Pelham led Tecumseh’s defense with 15 tackles while Haesler added 11 tackles and Steven Bloxam, 10.

“The rain doesn’t help us. It really doesn’t and I’m not one to make excuses,” said Romano. “But our offense is a little more geared to not rain than rain... The advantage this week is the rain is not so bad on the turf. ”

Tecumseh faces Chelsea at home on Friday, Oct. 26, in round one of playoffs. Romano said that if Milan beats Airport in round one the Indians would travel to Milan. If the game goes the other way the Indians would remain at home and face Airport.

“We’re rooting for Airport,” said Romano. “Plus, we’d like another shot at them.”




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