The McClain Tigers opened South Central Ohio League play on Friday night as they hosted the Wilmington Hurricane. After a back and forth battle with their opponent and a final score that did not represent the overall feel of the game, the Tigers fell to a final score of 62-19.
The game itself, opened up with a bang as Wilmington’s first play of the night was a 67 yard touchdown pass and after the point after, the ‘Cane were up 7-0 with only seconds off the clock.
As the Tigers started their first drive, they were looking at a long field, starting at their own 24 yard line. For the most part, the Tigers stuck to the ground game, passing once to Eric Anderson for eight yards. The ground game got the Tigers three first downs but with 8:29 left on the clock and the time being 7:40 p.m., the referees called a delay due to lightning and both teams went to the locker room.
When both team came back out at 8:35, McClain wasted no time getting back to work. On the first play after the game resumed, Tristan Pitzer took the ball himself 51 yards down the field and tied the game with a score of 7-7.
The Tigers forced the Wilmington team to turn the ball over on downs on their next drive but went four and out on their own drive and were forced to punt. After receiving the punt, Wilmington marched down the field for another touchdown with 10:55 left in the second quarter to make it 14-7.
McClain showed quickly that they wouldn’t go down easily. After the kickoff by the ‘Cane, Pitzer ran the first play and picked up four yards. On the very next play, Pitzer kept the ball again and took it all the way to the house for 72 yards. The point after was no good and the score was 14-13 in favor of Wilmington.
That was the last time the Tigers were able to score in the first half as Wilmington found the endzone twice more before the buzzer and at the half, the score was 27-13.
After the half, the Tigers got the ball first and were able to turn that drive into a touchdown. It didn’t look like that at first however, as the Tigers were stopped on third down and sent their punt team out onto the field. On the snap, the ball, instead of being punted, was passed to Darius White, who picked up enough yards to give McClain a first down and keep the drive alive. Later in the drive, McClain was able to score again and bring the score to 27-19.
The Tigers stayed battling with the ‘Cane in first part of the third quarter, but fatigue finally got to the Tigers after that. Wilmington was able to score five more times before the end of the game while McClain couldn’t catch back up, netting zero scores and the final score was 62-19
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.