Tecumseh pounds River Rats, remains undefeated
Mixing a solid ground game with on target passing helped Tecumseh’s varsity football team pound visiting Ann Arbor Huron for a 41-14 Southeastern Conference victory on Friday, Sept. 7.
Tecumseh head coach Al Romano talked the week before about wanting to improve the team’s rushing attack and this week the Indians scored four times on the run while also throwing two touchdown passes — and their defense was solid as a rock.
“I thought it was our best game of the season without a doubt,” said Romano. “We started running the ball and I was very pleased about that.”
Just four plays into their opening possession, the Indian’s quarterback, Ben Dreslinski, ran the ball 67-yards and into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game.
“The difference was our offensive line being able to get a head on everybody and drive blocking them pretty well,” said Romano.
Ann Arbor Huron was unable to shake Tecumseh’s defenders most of the evening and any mistake was pounced on by the Indians. Junior Preston Pelham ran over the River Rats all evening, racking up nine tackles and also snagging a low thrown pass for an interception that he retuned 28-yards for a touchdown, and 13-0 lead.
Romano credited the players and his defensive coordinator for doing their job, and doing it well.
“Todd’s been able to mix some blitzes in and change coverage,” Romano said. “He does a good job of scheming for the other team. He spends a lot of time on it and pretty much can call their plays from the sideline. So our kids get a lot of reps at it. It’s fantastic to see the way they’re flying around out there.”
The Indians closed the opening stanza with a 20-0 lead after Dreslinski threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Adams with 52 seconds remaining in the quarter.
By the end of the first half Tecumseh held a whopping 41-0 lead and the home fans loved it. They came to see an undefeated No. 1 ranked team and having their 2012 Indians go into halftime with a 41 point lead made the event that much more exciting. The Indians highlighted their undefeated, number one ranked team of 1972 at halftime and the community recognized their efforts with a standing ovation.
The Indians went to their reserves in the second half but the ‘Rats were still held from the end zone throughout the third quarter.
With 8:05 remaining in the final quarter, The River Rats’ Somto Igwegbe broke through a hole and scored a touchdown. The Huron’s tagged on two more points on a conversion pass.
The final touchdown came with 3:52 left in the game with the ‘Rats running Daniel Hugan into the end zone from 23-yards out. That proved to be the final points of the game with the Huron’s’ two point conversion pass failing.
“It was a great community win,” said Romano. “This is what high school football is all about. Everybody was all jacked up. It was an exciting time for our community and kids.”
The Indians racked up 279-yards rushing and 142-yards from passing.
Tecumseh’s Spencer Adams hauled in two passes for 41-yards and a touchdown while Casey Hunt had one 12-yard touchdown reception. Hunt also connected on five-of-six Point After Touchdown kicks.
John Terry recorded several crushing hits on defense for the Tribe and also had five offensive carries for 30 rushing yards.
“We’ve given John the most difficult assignment in the secondary, every week. And he’s moved around quite a bit, based on our opponent’s offense.” said Romano. “I thought he had a fantastic game.”
Spencer Hite added 61-yards and a touchdown on 10 rushes while Eric Eldred had two for 37-yards.
Starting quarterback Dreslinski totaled 126-yards and two touchdowns on 12 keeps while his backup, Nick Cowen carried the ball twice for 25-yards. Cowen was 0-for-3 passing but Romano said he thought he did a good job taking over in the second half.
“He’s fun to watch,” said Romano. “I call him the snake because he kind of slithers around out there. He looks like he’s going to be tackled and he’s not. He’s a good kid.”
Pelham led the Indians’ defense with nine tackles and an interception. Steven Bloxam recorded eight tackles for Tecumseh: Devin Moore, five and Chris Dororbantu, five.
Sage Rebottaro also recorded an interception for Tecumseh while Eric Heavener set the Tribe up inside the ‘Rats’ five yard line on a muffed kick off reception to allow Tecumseh another scoring opportunity it took advantage of.
“We just punched it in on the first play,” said Romano. “I would have choked if we had to throw it in. I wanted to run it in and we did, we took it right at them. So that’s a good thing. ”
Chase Smith also recovered a Huron fumble.
The ‘Rats’ Igwegbe was the team’s workhorse, rushing 14 times for 103 of the Huron’s total 136 rushing yards. The Hurons totaled 128 yards from passing.
At the beginning of the season Romano stated that Ypsilanti Lincoln might be the toughest opponent on this season’s schedule so preparations have been ongoing from the very start to face the Railsplitters this Friday, Sept. 14.
“They’re loaded and fun to watch,” said Romano. “But I’ve told the kids, ‘this is what it’s all about, right here, games like this. This should be a head knocker for all four quarters.’
“If you would have sat here three years ago and said that Lincoln and Tecumseh would be 3-0 and Chelsea and Adrian would be 0-3 in the first week of divisional play, people would have said ‘You’re nuts.’ And, here we are.”