Six straight wins qualify Indians for playoffs
Michigan High School Athletic Association has dusted off a spot on its Division II playoff bracket for Tecumseh’s varsity football team as the Indians qualified for post-season play with an impressive 49-0 victory over Dexter on Friday, Sept. 28.
Tecumseh coach Al Romano was happy with the game’s overall results and was impressed by the homecoming crowd that filled the stands to cheer on the Indians.
“The crowd was great,” said Romano. “You worry about a homecoming game but boy we started out fast, scoring on the first play, and our defense shut them right down.”
Casey Hunt didn’t give the Dreadnaughts very good field position during the game with his kickoffs keeping Dexter near its own 20 yard line to start most offensive drives.
The last time Tecumseh made the playoffs with six straight wins was in 2001. This time around the Indian’s picked up their sixth consecutive win relatively easy during homecoming. Tecumseh built a 42-0 lead before sending out its backup groups midway through the third quarter. The Indians were still able to keep the Dreadnaughts scoreless while adding another touchdown to easily secure the victory.
Tecumseh’s starting quarterback, Ben Dreslinski, has yet to shave his thickening beard and has a good growth protruding from his chinstrap. But not one hair on his head was harmed during the Indians bout with the Dreadnaughts. Dreslinski was able to sit out a quarter and a half of the second half with replacement Nick Cowen filling in and doing a fine job for the Indians.
Dreslinski did give up his first interception of the year, and it was in the end zone on a touchdown drive. But overall, he’s recorded 18 touchdowns, completing 70-of-100 passes for 1081 yards.
“It was a tipped ball,” said Romano. “He just underthrew it a little bit. But, hey, better to get it out of your system now.”
By the end of the first half Tecumseh had built a 35-0 lead with three Indians scoring touchdowns. Dreslinski passed 57-yards to Spencer Adams for the first touchdown and Kyle Bryan hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass to follow.
Adams scored again on a 39-yard Dreslinski pass and two quarterback keepers, on four- and 32-yard runs, gave the Indians all the points needed for the win in the first half.
During halftime festivities the Indians crowned Adam Napieralski king and Courtney Burtch queen.
John Terry, also on the homecoming court, added a touchdown on a five-yard run in the third quarter while Spencer Hite added the final touchdown on a 15-yard run in the same quarter.
Casey Hunt, another Tecumseh senior homecoming court representative, added seven points on Point After Touchdown kicks.
Chelsea’s Bulldogs ended the Indians’ six-game winning streak in 2001 and this year’s undefeated Tecumseh team travels to Chelsea on Friday, Oct. 4, for game seven of the regular season.
Chelsea (3-3 overall, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) opened its season with three straight losses, against Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic (34-27), East Lansing (27-0) and Temperance Bedford (53-20) but followed with three straight wins, against Ypsilanti (43-18), Adrian (24-18) and Ypsilanti Lincoln (41-20).
Tecumseh finishes its regular season with games against Adrian (2-4 overall, 2-1 SEC) and Carleton Airport (4-2 overall, 3-2 Huron League).
While hair continues to grow on several chins of the Indians, Romano is not so superstitious and knows that playing solid on both sides of the ball is what wins games.
“You’ve still got to play the game,” Romano said. “I have a limited wardrobe so I tend to wear the same thing every Friday. But I don’t know if that’s superstition or just lack of wardrobe. But, I like to practice and stay on schedule the same way and try to make it the same every week. But that’s just part of coaching.
“We’re at the point now where if we don’t play well anyone can beat us,” Romano added. “It’s just going to be fun. Now we’re getting into what it’s all about. Quite frankly, and I hope our kids feel the same way, I think we’re tired of game over at halftime. Lets get this thing rolling and let it be what it’s going to be at the end.”
Dreslinski finished with 179 yards on eight of 10 pass completions and three touchdowns while rushing for another 57 yards on five carries for two touchdowns.
Bryan hauled in four passes for 69 yards: Adams, two for 96 yards and two TDs, Eric Eldred, one for eight yards and Casey Hunt, one for six yards.
Spencer Hite rushed eight times for 72 yards and a touchdown: John Terry, eight times for 70 yards; and Markus Marzinowski, seven times for 33 yards; Spencer Adams, one for 20 yards and Eric Eldred, one for four yards.
Preston Pelham led the Indians’ defense with 12 tackles including a sack and two tackles for a loss. Devon Moore had nine tackles and interception. Both players have averaged double-digit tackles per game and neither has played in the fourth quarter all season.
Also recording interceptions were Ben Vannatter, Luke Marsten and Anthony Ialacci.