By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s football team hit the ground running Friday, Aug. 24 in Villa Grove. The Warriors coming of a 13-1 state runner-up season rolled over the host Blue Devils 57-0 finding the end zone early and often. The Warriors ran out to a 43-0 lead at the half, setting the clock in motion after the break per IHSA slaughter rules.
“We jumped on them right away, we won the flip and wanted the ball first for our offense it just worked out different with two special team scores,” commented the fourth year head coach Andy Romine. “There were good things and bad, we tell the boys there will be a big difference between what we look like in Week 1 and Week 9, and that the biggest gain and opportunity to learn is between the first and second weeks. I’m excited to see the film and tell the guys what we did right and also use it as a teaching tool.”
Head coach Andy Romine’s special teams drew first blood scoring twice before Tuscola’s offense took one step on the field. Assistant Coach Connor Plotner’s kick return team got the ball rolling following the flip as junior Ben Dixon took the opening kickoff 75 yards to pay dirt to make it 6-0 Warriors. Tuscola’s defense forced a three and out deep in Blue Devil territory that set a punt block that junior Jacob Kibler scooped up for a 2-yard touchdown run, which made it 13-0 after Cade Kresin drove the point-after through the up rights.
Two scores in 67 seconds, and Romine’s group didn’t stop there. They added to their first-quarter lead on their first and second offensive series of the year. Senior signal caller Luke Sluder broke loose on a read play for a 49-yard scoring scamper into the south end zone of Russ Ghere Field. Kresin was good again making it 20-0 Warriors.
Will Little was the next to reach the promise land by bursting through a hole opened by the hogs up front for a 9-yard touchdown run. Kresin converted, and it was 27-0 with 4 minutes still left on the clock in the first quarter. Sluder connected with Turner Hastings on a 10-yard pass to set up the score. Hastings led the receiving corps. with two catches for 48 yards.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Aug. 29 edition of The Tuscola Journal.