By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola rebounded from its first regular season loss in over three years last week with a 20-11 win over an unbeaten Clinton team.
Cade Kresin banged home a pair of plus-35-yard field goals, and Ben Dixon took a kick off 89 yards to the house as the Warriors special teams accounted for 13 of the Warriors’ 20 points. That’s not all, Kresin flipped the field early in the first half with a 74-yard punt. The senior put it in the air three times for a 46-yard average.
The two teams both stood strong on the defensive side of the ball allowing just one offensive touchdown in the game. Clinton utilized the bend don’t break method allowing the Warriors to drive the field for 19 first downs in the game but gave up just one score. Tuscola moved to the ball between the 20s but turned the ball over three times and were hindered with drive stopping penalties.
“After the St. T game we put a lot of emphasis on defense, and it showed,” stated Coach Andy Romine. “Maybe it hurt us some on offense, but don’t take anything away from that Clinton defense. They played every play like it was their last.”
On Tuscola’s side of the ball Michael Badgett and Logan Tabeling led the way delivering a combined 18 stops. Tabeling found his way to two solos and seven assists, while Badgett cleaned up four Maroon ball carriers on his own and helped out on five more. Gage Russell also turned some heads from his linebacker position notching six tackles, two for loss, while CJ Picaso added five tackles to his season stat sheet. Kenny Lucas and Ashton Jones covered up a pair of fumbles to stall a pair of Maroon drives in the second half. Turner Hastings found his way to four stops including two bone-jarring collisions early in the contest.
Offensively, Mathew Cantu was tops on offense running for 84 yards on 16 carries, four times bypassing 10 yards. Brandon Douglas was next with 53 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Luke Sluder was hindered by a sore ankle and felt the pressure from a blitzing Maroon defense that sacked the QB three times limiting him to 25 yards on 14 tries. He was 8 of 20 through the air for 78 yards. Sophomore Grant Hardwick grabbed four of Sluders tosses for 43 yards to lead the way in the reception department, while Douglas grabbed three catches for 33 yards.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Sept. 26 edition of The Tuscola Journal.