Friday Night Football Recap 10/28
Photos Courtesy of Joe Hallquist
Loveland started its playoff run in Norwood on a brisk Friday night, as they visited the Withrow Tigers. Loveland (4-6) was coming off a tough loss to West Clermont and looking to bounce back and move on to the second round. Withrow (7-3) was looking for their 5th straight win and looking to keep the momentum rolling after their Cincinnati Metro Atlantic Conference regular season title.
Withrow started off about as hot as possible, forcing a Loveland three and out, and scoring on a two yard touchdown run by Zion Shaw, set up by a couple of long throws by Troy Montgomery. The teams traded punts, and Loveland was hoping to gain some momentum after holding Withrow to a three and out. However, those hopes were quickly dashed as Loveland went three and out for the third straight time to open the evening, helped by a Zaire Washington sack.
Withrow drove down inside the Loveland 10 yard-line, but a couple of penalties pushed the home Tigers back to the 15. Montgomery made up for the penalty however, as he rolled out and found Isaiah McConnal in the back right corner of the end zone to make it 14-0.
Another Withrow sack and a 4th down stop gave Withrow the football back on their own 41. They drove down the field yet again and Montgomery took it himself from 9 yards out to extend the Tiger lead to 20.
Loveland recognized the need for a big play to get back in the game and they got it from Colton Endicott (11), who took an inside handoff 61 yards to set Loveland up inside the Withrow 15. Three plays later, Endicott found the end zone from a yard away and the score was 20-7 after a Ben Hicks (11) successful PAT.
Withrow stopped Loveland’s momentum dead in its tracks, as Montgomery connected with Gideon Tafari-Thompson on a 44 yard strike to extend the lead back to 3 possessions. That lead remained as Withrow headed to the break up 26-7. After the intermission, Withrow took complete control of the game. They immediately went out and put up a field goal while taking six key minutes off the clock. Loveland drove into Withrow territory, but was stopped on fourth down yet again, giving the Tigers the ball back. Withrow went three and out, but, yet again, their defense came up big, as Zion Shaw picked off Jake Svitkovich (12), and took it back inside the Loveland 25-yard line.
On the next play, Montgomery was picked off in the back of the end zone by Dylan Hacker (10). But the Withrow defense came through yet again, forcing another punt. Montgomery then really started to get going, as he broke multiple tackles and showed a ridiculous spin move, zooming 63 yards for a touchdown to make the lead 37-7. Withrow would hold on to win 44-7, ending Loveland’s 2022 season.
This Loveland Tigers football team is certainly one to remember, as they started out slowly, went on a 4 game winning streak and had one of the best running backs in the conference. Colton Endicott finished the season with 1317 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, one of the best rushing seasons in school history and allowed this team to set a precedent they can follow next season.