By Josh Brown
NEW CARLISLE — Tippecanoe was already in control of its own destiny.
Now, thanks to some help, the Red Devils have the opportunity to keep the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division title all to themselves.
The Devils (8-1, 3-1 CBC Kenton Trail) started fast and didn’t let up Friday night at Tecumseh, scoring 20 points in the first quarter and 41 by halftime in a 41-7 rout of the Arrows, putting them in a conference championship game in Week 10.
Thanks to Kenton Ridge’s 39-28 loss to Stebbins — the Cougars’ first division loss of the year — Tippecanoe could win the division title outright with a Week 10 victory at Kenton Ridge. It’s the final year Tippecanoe will play in the Kenton Trail Division before leaving for the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
“This is something we’ve been talking about all year, playing for the league title,” Tippecanoe coach Joel Derge said. “In the offseason, we said we had some unfinished business. We let one slip away from us against Kenton Ridge last year, were up 10-0 at halftime and lost, giving them the league title. We wanted to put ourselves in the situation we’re in now.”
Against Tecumseh (4-5, 1-3 CBC Kenton Trail), Tippecanoe left little doubt early.
Cameron Gibbs broke a 54-yard touchdown run — the first of a pair of first-quarter scores by him — and Cole Barhorst punched one in from 5 yards out to make it 13-0. Gibbs then scored on a 2-yard run to make it 20-0 after one.
Austin Subler had a 5-yard touchdown, Trevor Staggs a 3-yard touchdown and Eric Seeman caught a 40-yard hail mary from Brandon Gotthardt on the final play of the half to make it 41-0. The Devils substituted freely in the second half, and Tecumseh’s lone score came late in the fourth against the backups.
Gibbs was the Devils’ leading rusher with 68 yards on six attempts as 11 different players carried the ball at least once. Gotthardt finished 4 for 8 for 84 yards through the air.
“The kids played hard, and we spread the ball out well,” Derge said.
Tippecanoe also clinched a home game for the postseason, hanging on to the No. 2 spot in Division III, Region 10, with unbeaten Wapakoneta holding the top spot.
But first things first — at Kenton Ridge in Week 10.
“I’m excited for the kids. This is the opportunity they wanted, the position they wanted to be in,” Derge said. “Now we’ve just got to go out and take care of business.”
NEW LEBANON — Despite only five wins in his first two years as head coach, Mark Lane knew his Milton-Union Bulldogs were building something special.
“We already laid the foundation. Now we’re just adding, brick by brick,” he said.
With the primary work finished for the most part, the Bulldogs began decorating on Friday.
Milton-Union (6-3, 4-1 Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division) clinched a playoff spot in Division V, Region 18 Friday night with an impressive 41-8 Week 9 victory at Dixie.
“After we got a good feel for the offense they were running, we took care of that defensively,” Lane said. “And all night long, we were marching the football down the field offensively. The kids played hard.
“We challenged the guys to prepare for and be ready for the game, and that’s exactly what we did. We had a lot of growth as a team this week.”
Thus far, the Bulldogs’ only losses are to Miami East and Brookville, both playoff teams, and SWBL Buckeye-leading Madison. Currently, the Bulldogs hold the No. 4 spot in the playoffs — the final one that allows for hosting a first-round game. With the other three home games already clinched, Milton-Union needs a victory in Week 10 at Waynesville to hold onto that spot.
“We’re going to approach the game like we have every other game — one game at a time,” Lane said. “That’s what’s in front of us right now.”
National Trail 6
NEW PARIS — Having already clinched a playoff spot despite suffering its first Cross County Conference loss of the year last week, Covington (7-2, 6-1 CCC) bounced back by dominating National Trail on the road, 56-6 Friday night.
With the win, the Buccaneers, who are currently No. 2 in Division VII, Region 26, clinched a home game for Week 11. And with a Week 10 win at home against Ansonia, Covington can clinch a share of the CCC championship.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Jared Williams and a 37-yard run by Shane Straw made it 14-0 after one quarter, then the Buccs put it away with four unanswered second-quarter scores. Straw broke a 22-yard touchdown run, Williams a 48-yarder, Ethan Herron a 51-yarder and Deron White a 49-yarder, and suddenly it was 42-0 at the break.
Lance Miller added a 63-yard touchdown run in the third and Dimaurye Ewing scored on a 6-yard run in the fourth as the Buccs piled up 469 rushing yards to the Blazers’ 95 yards of total offense in the game.
Bethel 48, Ansonia 27
ANSONIA — At halftime, Bethel trailed Ansonia by one. After three, the Bees led by one.
After four, no one would have ever know it was that close.
Bethel (5-4, 4-3 Cross County Conference) pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Tigers 27-6 to claim a 48-27 victory and ensure at least a .500 season with one game left to play.
“With the offense we run, we can wear people down,” Bethel coach Scott Clodfelter said. “When I was coaching at Beavercreek, Centerville ran the triple (option), and they’d do that to us all the time. We’d keep it close until the fourth and then they’d pull away. I think we’re starting to get to that point now.
“We were down 14-13 at the half, but we came out strong in the second half and just wore them down.”
Bethel hosts 4-5 Arcanum in Week 10, winner of four straight after dropping the first five games of the season.
“We’d like to (have a winning season),” Clodfelter said. “Arcanum is rolling right now, too, so it should be a good game.”
Sidney 17, Piqua 14
PIQUA — It was a matchup of two 5-3 teams at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field as Sidney and Piqua tried to keep their playoffs hopes alive and for Piqua — a possible share of the GWOC North title.
All those possibilities went away for the Indians as Sidney emerged with a 17-14 victory.
The Jackets dominated the total yardage, but Piqua stayed in the game with a bend, but don’t break defense and by recovering three of Sidney’s six fumbles, two on punts.
But Sidney drove from its own 22 and Danny Dean was perfect on a 35-yard field goal that would have been good from 50 with 1:18 to go to break a 14-14 tie.
Sidney is 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the GWOC North, while Piqua is 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the GWOC North.
The Indians close the season Friday, playing at Troy.
Lehman 62, Ridgemont 0
SIDNEY — Lehman (5-4) bounced back from a disappointing loss to Fort Loramie last week, hammering Ridgemont 62-0 Friday to stay in the Division VII, Region 26 playoff picture.
Lehman currently sits in the fifth spot but does not control its own destiny in the race. The Cavaliers finish the season against winless Waynesfield-Goshen.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.