Indians rally to beat Thurston
A safety and touchdown had Tecumseh’s varsity football team behind 9-0 in the opening quarter of game two of the season at Redford Thurston High School on Friday, Sept. 6, but the Indians stuck it out until securing a 28-22 victory.
The Indians scored a touchdown on a seven-yard run in the second quarter on a Nick Cowen quarterback keeper. Ben Vannatter added a point on the following point after touchdown (PAT) kick and the first half closed with Tecumseh down 9-7.
Going into the contest, Tecumseh head coach Al Romano’s game plan was to control the field right from the start.
“We talked about before the game how important it was to get off to a good start, get them down and keep them down,” said Romano. “Instead the opposite happened. But, by the same token, we never quit and that kind of helped us a little bit, I think.”
Cowen broke free for a 70-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and again late in the stanza for a 46-yard touchdown run. Vannatter connected on both PAT attempts to give the Indians a 21-9 advantage.
Midway through the final quarter the Eagles scored again on a 15-yard touchdown pass but missed their PAT to pull within six points (21-15) of the Indians.
Cowen broadened the Indians lead again with his fourth touchdown run of the evening, on a 10-yard rush into the end zone. Vannatter centered the goal posts and gave Tecumseh a 28-15 lead.
The Eagles scored the game’s final touchdown on a 17-yard pass and finished all scoring with a good PAT kick.
Romano and his assistant offensive coach, Craig Freestone, sent in the plays for Cowen to call and that system seems to be working well for the Indians.
“We did a little better job of executing. We really didn’t change much at halftime,” Romano said. “I think we wore them down. That was a big factor.”
Tecumseh travels to Ann Arbor Pioneer on Thursday, Sept. 12, as the Pioneers are observing a religious holiday on Friday.
The Pioneers are 1-1 on the season with 40 players listed on their roster. The Indians list 52 players on their varsity roster and the large squad will be used to its full potential in slowing opponents down.
“We’re playing more guys than anyone else that we play,” said Romano. “That’s a big advantage. We’re going to put more people on the field than Pioneer. Hopefully, back to that advantage, the more guys you’re playing, the more rested you are, the fresher you are in the fourth quarter.”
Romano added the Indians are still improving, especially offensively.
“We’re nowhere near where we need to be, right now,” he stressed. “But we kind of expected it. It’s a young offense still. We lost a lot of our skilled people so we’re meshing a lot of times but we’re not real consistent right now.”
The one thing that must be improved for continued offensive success, according to Romano, is passing the ball.
“We need to work on our passing game,” he said. “There is no question about it. That’s going to be critical down the stretch.”