Loveland, OH - Another ECC clash took place at Tiger Stadium on Friday night, as the Kings Knights traveled south to play in one of the most bitter rivalries in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference. The Knights were entering this one undefeated, and looking like one of the more dominant teams in all of the 513. The Tigers, however, were still searching for their first win of the season, after dropping a shootout against Milford 52-34.
The Tigers scored right out of the gate for a second week in a row, as Jewel Vorbroker (10) took it himself from 11 yards out to cap off an 11-play, 80-yard drive to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead. The Knights tried to respond, driving down inside the Loveland 25-yard line, but a failed conversion on 4th and 16 gave the Tigers the ball right back. Loveland also threatened, bringing the ball as far down the field at the King's 21-yard line, but they failed to convert on 4th down as well, and the Knights began their second drive of the night. After a Kings 3-and-out, the Tigers extended their lead to 14-0, as Colton Endicott (12) led a 12-play, 69-yard drive, that he capped off with his own 15-yard rushing touchdown.
The Knights refused to go away, as Grant Nurre connected with Nate Lyman on a 43-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 8 and give Lyman his 5th receiving touchdown of the year. That capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive for the Knights, where Nurre went 3 of 4 for 62 yards, along with the touchdown to Lyman. Loveland would respond with a 43-yard field goal to close the half from Brady Stidham (10), and the Tigers took a 17-6 lead heading into the intermission.
The Tiger's defense forced a three-and-out to open the half and got the ball back in the early portion of the third quarter with a chance to extend the lead. Yet another failure to convert on 4th down would give the ball right back to the Knights. The Tigers D would force another punt, but a Tiger penalty on the punt return moved the ball back inside the Loveland 15. On the very first play of the ensuing drive, Tyler Roberts (11) would find Brayden McCaleb (12) on a slant route for an 88-yard touchdown to start to pull away. Another failed Kings 4th down conversion and Endicott’s second touchdown would put this one away, and although the Knights tried to fight back, the Tigers prevailed 31-20 for their first win of the season.
Endicott finished with 183 yards on the ground, along with two rushing touchdowns to help solidify his status as one of the best running backs in the state. The Tigers defense collected two sacks and Max Carver (11) led the defense with 8 total tackles. The Tigers travel to Lebanon this Friday to try and knock off the Warriors for a second consecutive season and grab their second straight win of the season. Be there!