Photo Courtesy of Ben Hicks
The Loveland Tigers came back home after their road trip to Walnut Hills on Friday to host the Turpin Spartans. The Spartans came in looking for their first win of the season, while the Tigers were looking to extend their winning streak to three games, the longest winning streak for Loveland football in over half a decade.
This was a game where the Tigers defense really shined, and they started with that energy we’ve seen in the past two games, forcing 2 Turpin punts, including one three and out, to start the game. After a Loveland three and out of their own, the ensuing punt was muffed by the Spartans, and Ethan Freeland (12) jumped on it, setting the Tigers up at the Turpin 33.
The Tigers were able to capitalize on the turnover, as Jake Svitovich (12) found his favorite target, Will Bradley (12), from 14 yards out to put the Tigers up 7-0 early.
The Tigers defense remained stout on all cylinders, forcing another three and out thanks to a fantastic pass breakup by Sawyer Muchmore (10), and setting up the offense again. Freeland displayed his versatility as a two-way player, as he ran it in from 24 yards away to double the Tigers lead to 14-0.
After a couple drives stalled from both teams, Turpin quarterback, Devan Nigam, made a crucial mistake, as he launched a throw right into the hands of Quinn Jenkins (12) to yet again set up the Tigers offense deep in Turpin territory.
A couple plays later, Svitovich found Freeland out of the backfield, who found his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. The Tigers went into the half with their confidence high, as they shut out the Spartans and went into the intermission with a 21-0 lead.
The Tigers slowed a little in the second half, giving up a touchdown in the third, but they kept their composure, and Colton Endicott (11) put the game away with a 1 yard touchdown. The Tigers won their third game in a row in dominating fashion, 28-6, and successfully punched their ticket to playoff football in November.
Endicott continued his string of success recently, carrying the ball 24 times for 116 yards and a touchdown. The defense also dominated, led by Connor Bond (12) with a career game. Bond had 7 solo tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks, stuffing the defensive stat sheet. Ethan Freeland also continued his defensive hot streak with his recovered muffed punt, along with 5 solo tackles and 1 tackles for loss. Drew Holman (11) also wreaked havoc in the backfield, finishing with 1 tackles for loss as well.
The Tigers will host Little Miami this week, which is a game that the Tigers should win. The Loveland defense needs to fly all over the field, get to the quarterback, and make plays in the backfield. If they can do that on Friday night, they will beat the Panthers, and extend their winning streak to four games, cementing their case as one of the hottest teams in the ECC and the 513.