Tribe wins in overtime
By MICKEY ALVARADO
Students rushed Indian Stadium’s football field on Friday night, Sept. 23, after Tecumseh High School’s varsity football team came from behind and beat Ypsilanti 29-28 in overtime.
Tecumseh varsity football coach Al Romano was extremely happy and excited for his players, saying they had worked hard and deserved the win.
“I’m just happy for the kids,” said Romano. “We haven’t started the way they wished we had but they deserve this because they kept working.”
The Indians cut into Ypsilanti’s lead late in the fourth quarter on a six-yard touchdown pass from Brad Vannatter to Kyle Bryan. John Terry added two more points to tie the game (22-22) on a Point After Touchdown (PAT) conversion run.
Tecumseh won the second coin toss of the evening and selected the defensive end of the field. Both teams are given four downs to try and score a touchdown but Ypsilanti’s offense needed just one down to run into the end zone for a 28-22 lead.
The Phoenix were backed up five yards on their PAT attempt on a delay of game call. Ypsilanti then tried a two-point conversion pass but Chris Dorobantu and Tecumseh’s defense forced an incompletion.
“Our defense is playing so well,” said Romano. “Our coaches did a great job preparing them and they’re getting better all the time.”
Tecumseh tried running the ball into the end zone on its first two overtime attempts but were denied entry. On Tecumseh’s third attempt, quarterback Brad Vannatter hit John Terry in the chest with a pass that he clung to for a touchdown.
Tecumseh needed just one point to win the game so Romano sent in Casey Hunt to get the job done. Hunt centered the ball through the uprights and the Indians homecoming victory calibration ensued.
“We were a little more patient,” Romano said of his offense, “where in blitzing situations when teams have a lot more speed than us, like we’ve been seeing and tonight too, we just stayed together more and stayed with our stuff, didn’t panic as much. That was key.”
Ypsilanti took a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter but the Indians came back to tie the contest 14-14 by the end of the first half.
Romano said they didn’t change anything during the Indians’ halftime talk, they just executed better in the second half.
“We didn’t really change anything,” he said. “We got away from using motion in overtime because they were keying motion a little bit...We just executed. This [Ypsilanti] defense hasn’t given up very many points. They gave up 10 to Chelsea and 14 to Pioneer the last two weeks. We knew we were going to have our hands full.”
Ypsilanti (1-4) lost 10-6 at Chelsea in its previous contest and 14-6 at Ann Arbor Pioneer the week before.
After returning to the field for the second half against Tecumseh the Phoenix added six points on an 11-yard pass and two more points on a conversion pass to take a 22-14 lead into the final quarter.
“The kids from Tecumseh played tough,” said Ypsilanti coach Jason Malloy. “They executed when it counted and they deserved to win the game.”
Phoenix’s quarterback had taken some solid hits in the first half and limped off the field several times but coach Malloy didn’t think injuries had anything to do with the loss.
“I don’t think injuries played a factor at all,” he said. “They began to execute more than we did in the second half. Their kids played tough...As a program in this conference you have to play four quarters against everybody.”
Terry scored Tecumseh’s first touchdown in the second quarter on a three-yard run. He finished the night with 77-yards on nine carries and six yards on one reception.
Austin Shartle recorded the Indians second touchdown in the second quarter on a one-yard run. He totaled 60-yards on 17 carries and added five yards on one reception.
Bryan had two receptions for 25-yards.
Vannatter connected on 8-of-23 passes for 71 yards. He also had 14 carries for an additional 50 yards.
Tecumseh (2-3 overall, 1-1 SEC) travels to Dexter on Friday for its sixth game of the season.