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Tecumseh Savages Celebrate Senior Night With A 21-19 Win


September 17, 2020

Natasha Dunagan

Tecumseh's Chad Wynne dashes around the Lone Grove Longhorns during the game on Sept. 11.

After an opening week road loss, the Tecumseh Savages got a tough win at home over Lone Grove last Friday to move their season record to 1-1.

For the second week in a row, the Savages played an opponent not originally on the schedule. Longtime rival Seminole was supposed to be the week two opposition, but the Chieftains called and cancelled. Lone Grove answered Coach Bullock's call and took the long road trip to provide the Tecumseh with a game for Senior Night as the Savages honored senior football players, band members, cheerleaders and cross-country runners.

After turning away the Longhorns on the opening possession, the Savages got on the board first with a 30-yard pass play from quarterback Monte Valois to Gavyn Rogers. The extra point was booted by Kevin Dodd and Tecumseh led 7-0 with 5:14 to go in the opening quarter.

Lone Grove answered the Savage score with a long drive of their own with quarterback Jace Brandenburg taking the ball into the end zone on a one-yard plunge. After a penalty on the PAT moved the Longhorns back five yards, the try for point was no good and the Savages still led 7-6 at the 10:58 mark in the second quarter.

As would be the case all night, the Savages and Lone Grove traded scores with Tecumseh getting the next trip to pay dirt with a nine-yard run by Chad Wynne. The Savages had trouble with the snap on the extra point and Tecumseh led 13-6 with 7:53 left before halftime.

The Longhorns again answered the Savage TD with one of their own late in the second period. This time running back Cooper Robinson found his way to the end zone on a five-yard run. The point after try was knocked through by Ethan Cohee and the game was knotted 13-13 as the teams headed to their halftime locker rooms.

The back and forth game continued in the second half as each team moved the ball, but neither could find the end zone in the third quarter. The Savages had some mistakes and penalties which kept them from sustaining drives in the third quarter but found a way to answer early in the final stanza.

Wynne found his way to the end zone for the second time in the game as he scampered for a five-yard touchdown run to put Tecumseh back on top. The Savages then went for a two-point conversion and Valois found Brynnen Epperley in the end zone to add two important points to the total as Tecumseh was up 21-13 with 10:41 left in the game.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns found their chance to tie the game. After a seven-yard touchdown run by Lone Grove's Robison for his second touchdown of the night made the score 21-19 at the 2:53 mark, the Longhorns attempted a two-point conversion.

The two-point pass was intercepted by the Savages' Anthony O'Guinn to preserve the lead and seal the Tecumseh win. Lone Grove attempted an onside kick, but the ball was recovered by the Savages, who ran the clock out.

The Savages outplayed the Longhorns pretty handily in the stats, but too many mistakes on offense kept the visitors in the game. Tecumseh had 479 yards of offense with 275 on the ground and 204 through the air. The Savage defense held Lone Grove to 237 yards of total offense

Valois had a great night passing as he was 14-of-19 through the air with one touchdown and an interception. Jake Trice was the leading receiver for the Savages with six catches for 117 yards. Rogers had four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Jaxon Meyers caught four passes for 35 yards. Epperley had one catch for three yards and a two-point conversion.

Kane Ainesworth was the leading rusher for Tecumseh with 117 yards on 13 rushes. Wynn rushed for two touchdowns and had 79 yards on 11 totes. Dylan Graham picked up 44 yards on seven carries. Valois rushed for 26 yards on eight rushes. Rogers picked up nine yards on two carries.

The defense was led for the second week in a row by linebacker Jamal Fair, who had 16 tackles, including one for loss. Ethan Rickey had 13 tackles on the night with three for loss. Ainesworth had a big night on both sides of the ball as he had 13 tackles. JB McIntosh had 11-tackles in the win while Graham had seven take downs, including a sack and a tackle for loss.

Zeke Gage had seven tackles, including one for loss while Tyler Girod had six tackles with one for loss. Brody Peters and Mason Whitman each had five tackles while Epperley had four tackles and an interception. Trice had four tackles. O'Guinn had an interception and three tackles for the Savages.

"It was a good old-fashioned physical game for the second straight week," said Savage head coach Ty Bullock. "We've been battle tested twice in two games and we lost the first one and were able to win this one. I think we played more physical this week and that's the reason we won this one.

"I thought Monte (Valois) threw the ball extremely well for us," said Bullock. "He made a couple of errors, including an interception, and then came back and threw a touchdown. The difference this week from last is that we showed resiliency and that made huge difference. If we'd played like this last week, we'd be 2-0 instead of 1-1. We played really physical and really balanced on offense this week and defensively we made enough plays to win."

This week the Savages are scheduled to host Elgin. "Elgin lost to Anadarko and Blanchard," Coach Bullock said, "I know they're going to be coming in fired up to play us. We're going to have to be ready for the challenge." The coach said the Owls run a spread offense and play a 4-2-5 defense.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 at Tecumseh Stadium.


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