By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s football team is back in the black in more ways than one. Not only is coach Andy Romine’s squad reaping the benefits of a strong offseason weight program they also have earned the right to practice in the dark. Every high school football coach in the state knows there is three land marks by which you can gauge your season.
“When you have to turn on the lights at 4:30 or so during practice it’s a great thing,” the coach stated. “It means you have won a couple playoff games and are still have a shot at the final weekend.”
First, if you’re practicing when the rest of the town is trick or treating it means you qualified for the playoffs. Secondly, if the skies turn black midway through practice, you’ve won a pair of post season contests and are still at it after the time change, and thirdly, if you are still snapping the ball at Thanksgiving your in the state title game.
Junior Brandon Douglas and his buddies have checked the first two off the coaching staffs list and are still in the hunt for the third following a 42-21 victory over a very good Bismarck-Henning squad. Douglas hauled in four passes this past Saturday for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
“They were very good up front on both sides of the ball and it took us a while to settle in a get past some early miscues,” stated Romine the Saturday, Nov. 3 home win. “We did some really good things on offense and were just a block away from making some big runs. I don’t think we have completely reached our ceiling yet. “
Senior signal caller Luke Sluder found six separate players in all going 13 for 19 through the air for 328 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Jacob Kibler also grabbed four balls from the air for 73 yards, while sophomore Grant Hardwick swiped two for 94 yards. Freshman Jalen Quinn notched the third touchdown, and Logan Tabeling and Turner Hastings each had big first down grabs.
Sluder was also a main staple in Romine’s run attack. He gained a hard-earned 58 yards on 16 carries and found the end zone three times. Tuscola’s ground assault did just enough by collecting six of the Warriors’ 20 first downs while gaining 80 yards on 28 carries.
The Warriors rallied from a seven-point deficit on a drive highlighted by a 76-yard reception by Hardwick that put the ball on the Blue Devil 2-yard line. Sluder went from 2 yards out, and Cade Kresin put the point after through the up rights to knot it at sevens.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Nov. 7 edition of The Tuscola Journal.