Tecumseh opens football season with big win over Jefferson

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Kolin Connors (79) blocks Jefferson's Nathan Hintz as Tecumseh quarterback Nick Cowen looks for a receiver. The Indians defeated the Bears 47-7. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

No one could tell in the first 12 minutes of its opening season game against visiting Jefferson on Friday, Aug. 30, that Tecumseh’s varsity football team would outscore visiting Monroe Jefferson by 40 points (47-7) and log a win.

In fact it looked as if the Indians’ offense needed at least another week on the practice fields with movement on the line drawing flags and having a couple of early passes hit the dirt instead of the intended target from first season starting quarterback, senior Nick Cowen.

The Bears scored a touchdown on their opening drive in the first quarter and tagged an extra point kick for a 7-0 lead while its defense stymied the Indians throughout a majority of the first 12 minutes of play.

But the Indians didn’t give in and displayed real heart on the artificial turf field for the remaining 36 minutes of play.

Pure determination and a couple of good blocks helped Tecumseh’s quarterback Cowen break free for a 70-yard touchdown run to set the score at 7-6 late in the opening quarter.

A missed point after touchdown kick by Ben Vannatter had the Indians down by just one point heading into the second quarter. Vannatter made up for the missed point with a punt return early in the period, cutting 67-yards left along the hash marks before reaching the end zone on a flying dive to give the Indians a 12-7 advantage. He also connected on the point after touchdown kick to put the Indians up 13-7.

While the Indians’ defense put a hurting on the Bears and didn’t allow another touchdown against them, their offense scored 20 points in the second quarter, seven in the third and 14 in the fourth to close out the game looking like it was the ninth game in the season and they needed the win to advance to the playoffs. Tecumseh coach Al Romano was able to go to his reserves in the final quarter, where he gave back-up quarterback Jeff Arnett some valuable reps in the first season game.

Landon Pelham scored two touchdowns in the second quarter for Tecumseh. He recorded his first on a short one-yard rush and the second on a four-yard run. Vannatter connected on one of two point after touchdown kicks and the Indians held a 26-7 lead by the end of the first half.

It was obvious in the third quarter that Tecumseh’s athletes had been working calisthenics hard in the pre-season, as they didn’t slow their roll at all. Defensive standouts Preston Pelham and Chris Dorobantu looked as fresh as they did when starting the game and broke up many of the Bears’ offensive plays.

On the other side of the ball, Cowen added another touchdown on a 20-yard QB keeper and Vannatter hit the PAT for a 33-7 lead in the third quarter.

The Indians took nothing for granted and scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, both off of Jefferson fumbles. Hunter Beyer scooped up a fumble from four yards out and scored a touchdown for Tecumseh with 8:09 remaining in the game. Tecumseh’s Jack Dick recovered a fumble on the Bears’ 18-yard line and Travis Byrd followed up with an eight-yard touchdown run. Vannatter connected on the PAT to complete all scoring.

Tecumseh travels to Thurston High School (1-0), 26255 Schoolcraft, Redford Charter Township, on Friday, Sept. 6, for game two of nine in the regular season. The Eagles, now in the Western-Wayne Blue Conference, went 5-4 last season.




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