By Lenny Sementi
Decatur St. Teresa came out on the right side of the scoreboard, 56-28, ending the state’s longest-running regular season winning streak at 32 games. Tuscola’s last loss in the regular season was on Oct. 10, 2014, which coincidently was also to the Bulldogs. It was also the first regular season defeat for head coach Andy Romine who won the first 30 of his head coaching career.
Decatur’s Jacardia Wright lived up to his billing by accounting for seven touchdowns in the game. The 215-pound tailback rushed for five scores, caught a 74-yard touchdown pass and returned an interception 100 yards for another TD. Most of his damage on the ground was done in the first half exploding for 236 yards on six carries.
Leading the way for Tuscola on the ground was Mathew Cantu, who touched the century mark gaining 100 yards on 16 carries. Luke Sluder was next up with 83 yards on 22 carries. He also did his share of damage through the air by throwing for 102 yards on 12 of 22 passes. Brandon Douglas was the leading receiver grabbing five balls for 26 yards. Next was Hayden Cothron with 39 yards on three catches followed by Turner Hastings who also hauled in three passes gaining 20 yards.
Logan Tabeling caught a big ball on third down to extend the opening drive and was also strong on defense recording a team high 10 tackles. Cade Kresin was next with six stops, while Josh Dyer and Michael Badgett each added five tackles to their season resumes.
The two state ranked heavy weights traded blows throughout the first half, but a late score before the break and another touchdown on the first drive of the second half by the Bulldogs changed the game. St Teresa went up by two scores and turned up the heat on defense as the Warriors tried to pass their way back into the game.
Tuscola opened the game with a nice 12-play drive the took nearly six minutes off the clock and ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Sluder to give the Warriors an early 7-0 advantage. St. T struck back on their second play from scrimmage as Wright went 74 yards on the right side to knot it at 7’s. Tuscola answered with a 15-play drive that, unfortunately for the Warriors, ended with Wright picking off a pass in the end zone and taking 102 yards to pay dirt, giving the Bulldogs a 14-7 advantage.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Sept. 19 edition of The Tuscola Journal.