OAKLAND — It’s been a rough ride for the Tri-County Titans football team the past three weeks.
After starting the season with three consecutive wins and going 3-0, the Titans dropped their last three games with each opoosing team scoring 42 points in each loss.
In the final home game of the season, Tri-County hoped to be poor hosts when they faced Martinsville in an LOVC Southeast Division contest Friday.
A familiar point total finally worked in the Titans favor.
Just like the last three ball games, the winning team scored 42 points. This time around, it was the Titans that had that total go into the good side using a 28-0 halftime lead to never look back defeating the Blue Streaks 42-8 to end their three game losing streak.
After the Blue Streaks opening drive of the game stalled, the Titans went to work, quickly marching the ball down the field using a 41 yard pass from Mitch Pollock to Mason Hutchinson to get deep into Blue Streaks territory.
It was then the running game that got the ball down to the one yard line where Pollock punched the ball into the end zone at the 7:46 mark. Blake Lee added the extra point to give TCT a 7-0 lead.
On the next series, the Titans struck pay dirt again, this time through the air as Pollock found Lee on a short crossing route and Lee ran the rest of the way for a 57 yard touchdown pass with 3:53 left. The extra point was missed leaving the score at 13-0.
In the second quarter, Lee went to work again using his feet to produce a 30 yard touchdown run with 5:35 left. Lane Bisby then ran in the two point conversion to make the score 21-0 in favor of the Titans. After the Titans got a stop late, the air attack went to work one more time on a fourth down play as Pollock found Brandon Royer for a 33 yard touchdown pass with 1:35 left. Lee added the extra point to make the score 28-0. That score held up as the teams went into the locker room.
In the third quarter, the Blue Streaks used their first possession of the second half using their ground game to finally get their first score as Carlos Herrera converted a five yard touchdown run. Vicente Herrera then ran in the two point conversion after back-to-back offside penalties put the ball near the goal line. This made the score 28-8 in favor of the Titans with 7:19 left. That score held up going into the fourth quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Tri-County struck again with a three yard touchdown run by Drew Bevill at the 11:56 mark and the extra point by Lee made the score 35-8. The Titans then put an exclamation point on the game with 4:20 left as Pollock found Hutchinson on an out route and Hutchinson did the rest scampering 55 yards for the touchdown. Lee hit the extra point to make the eventual final score 42-8.
After the game, Head Coach Brian Anderson was very pleased with how the team came out strong from the start of the game.
“I was glad that we got off to a good start. We needed to,” he said. “After that bad taste in our mouths last week, last weekend was rough. It was a long weekend. We were thinking about Cole (Wheeler). Your also thinking about how you gave away a game. So, it was good to get off to a good start tonight.”
Cole Wheeler was injured at the end of the game last week and was out for the rest of the season with a severe concussion.
Anderson also gave his props to the Blue Streaks for their hard play that they showed despite having low numbers.
“Give those kids a lot of credit,” he added. “They played their tails off all. They played hard all night. I was extremely impressed by their effort.”
The Titans racked up 395 total yards of offense in 38 plays. Drew Bevill had ten carries for 73 yards and a score while Blake Lee had three touches for 49 yards and a score and added that 57 yard catch - his lone catch of the game - for a score. Lane Bisby had ten carries for 64 yards. Mitch Pollock was 4 of 7 passing for 186 yards and three scores adding eight carries for 23 yards and a score. Mason Hutchinson had two catches for 96 yards and a score and Brandon Royer added four sacks on defense to go with his 33 yard touchdown catch. Royer finished with 7.5 tackles while Bisby added 7 tackles in the win.
The Titans (4-3, 1-2 LOVC Southeast) will travel to Villa Grove on Friday to face the Villa Grove/Heritage Blue Devils in a very important LOVC Southeast Division contest that will have major playoff implications. The Blue Devils defeated Oblong/Palestine/Hutsonville to improve to 3-4, but still needing to win their final two games to become playoff eligible. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Russ Ghere Field in Villa Grove.