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  • Writer's pictureChase Gibson

Friday Night Football Recap 9/16

Photos Courtesy of Joe Hallquist

The Loveland Tigers hosted the Lebanon Warriors on Friday Night in an incredibly important game on both teams’ schedules if they hoped to make it to November.

This matchup was all about the defense on both sides and it started that way, as both teams punted on their first drive. Loveland's second drive was progressing slowly, as they drove down inside the Lebanon red zone and settled for a field goal. However, the field goal was no good thanks to an uncalled roughing the kicker penalty and the Tigers came away with no points.

But the Loveland defense kept fighting and forced another Warriors punt. With 41 seconds left in the half, Jake Svitkovich (12) found Will Bradley (12) in the end zone for the first points of the game. The Tigers went into the half with the 7-0 lead and all the momentum heading into the second half.

The Tigers kept the momentum going all throughout the third, keeping their shutout alive. The Tiger defense was flying around the field, wreaking havoc on the Lebanon passing game and in the backfield. Late in the third, the Tiger defense kept that energy going as Dylan Hacker (10) picked off a Lebanon pass, creating the first turnover of the night and giving the Tigers the ball right back.

As the game leaked into the 4th quarter, the Warriors started to gain some momentum of their own. With 11:31 left in the game, Braden Key took a counter play 70 yards to the house and tied the game up at 7. The two teams went back and forth, trading punts until Lebanon drove down the field and took the lead on a 7-yard touchdown run by Key. However, the Warrior’s extra point was botched and Adam Sherick's attempt to keep the play alive came up a yard short of the end zone, as the Warriors gave the ball back to Loveland up 13-7.

It seemed like all hope was lost for the Tigers, but Svitkovich completed a couple huge passes and Colton Endicott (11) broke off a run, moving the ball into Warriors territory with just 90 seconds to go. But after a false start penalty and a couple of incomplete passes, the Tigers faced a 4th and 9 with just 1:18 on the clock. Again, it seemed like there was no hope left for the winless Tigers, but Svitkovich miraculously connected with Bradley again for a 15 yard gain to move the ball to the Lebanon 20. Just two plays later, the Svitkovich to Bradley connection worked its magic once again as they connected from 12 yards out to tie the game at 13-13 with just 32 seconds to go. Ben Hicks (11) put his two previous misses behind him and knocked through the game winning extra point to give the Tigers the lead and eventually the win 14-13.

Will Bradley finished with 7 receptions for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game winner. Drew Holman (11) led the stout defense with 5.5 tackles and 2 sacks, including the one that sealed the game.

The Tigers travel to 0-5 Walnut Hills next weekend, where they will try to keep the momentum running after their huge win on Friday night.

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