Loveland Vs. Turpin Prediction
For Loveland’s sixth matchup of the year, the Tigers are finding themselves on the road against the 2-4 Turpin Spartans. Loveland is riding a three-game winning streak, where they have looked like nothing less than a juggernaut. The Spartans, on the other hand, are coming off of three consecutive losses, with the most recent being a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Lebanon Warriors on the road.
Despite Turpin sitting at eight in the ECC, Turpin’s defense has been playing better than expected, not letting any opponent score more than 20 points since Kings back in August. The Spartan's defense ranks 5th in points allowed in conference play. Turpin’s defense seems to live by the “bend don’t break'' strategy on defense. Opposing teams have continued to be able to push the ball down the field but find themselves unable to find the endzone. In Turpin’s last contest, they gave up 390 total yards, yet they only gave up 14 points.
The Tigers are in the midst of an incredible stretch of football, where they’ve been absolutely unstoppable on the ground and have had a consistently stifling defense. The Tigers can continue this trend and take a win on Turpin's turf, breaking down the Spartan’s defense. Obviously, Colton Endicott (12) is going to be the center of the Tiger's offense, and until a team has a reasonable way to stop him he will continue to dominate. Endicott averaged a ridiculous 11.6 yards a carry, totaling 139 yards on 12 carries, finding the endzone twice against Walnut Hills. To put in perspective how dominant Endicott has been, he has scored nine touchdowns in the last four games, and Turpin as a team has scored eight touchdowns in the last five games. Turpin is allowing an impressive sixteen points per game in their last four games, but with that being said, their offense is only averaging 14 points per game. If the Tigers want to win, they need to strike first and continue to apply pressure. 24 points should be enough to walk away with a win against the Spartans.
In order for Turpin to win they are going to need to score consistently. Turpin hasn’t struggled to get yards, just struggled to finish drives. The key to unlocking that is a more consistent run game. If the Spartans can rely on Junior running back Joey Gardner to play, seeing as he was out last week against Lebanon, but also averages five yards a carry. If Gardner manages to accomplish that feat, the Spartans could have a significantly easier time opening up the passing game and finding the end zone. If Gardner is out, the Spartans will look to Senior receiver Luke Jilek to relieve running back duties.
With all of this being said, I expect a low-scoring dogfight. I expect both teams to struggle to score throughout the first half and start to catch a groove later in the game. I think a lot of this game rides on Loveland showing some versatility and hoping someone other than Endicott steps up. The person I expect to step up is sophomore halfback Jewel Vorbroker (10). Vorbroker has provided a nice wrinkle to the offense in past games and I expect an expanded workload against a tough Turpin defense. My score prediction is a Loveland win 24-14.