Titan offense grounded as Redskins stay perfect


Sullivan-Okaw Valley 46, Tri-County 6

SULLIVAN – In a football season that has seen its share of ups and downs, the Tri-County Titans traveled to new territory on Friday, Oct. 13, making the trek to Victory Field in Sullivan to face the current co-leaders in the Lincoln Prairie Conference, the Sullivan-Okaw Valley Redskins. 

The Titans have been trudging through a slew of injuries of late and the list keeps growing. Jimmy Dillon is out for the rest of the season due to a collarbone injury suffered in last Friday's 55-12 loss to Cumberland. With key players such as John Kibler, Wyatt Gilbert and Donnie Loveall already out, Tri-County has had to rely on younger players to fill the gaps in the offensive and defensive lines. 

The Redskins have gone from having to cancel their varsity season in 2021 to making the playoffs in consecutive years. The Redskins came into the contest undefeated after surviving a 30-22 scare against Nokomis. SOV was on a collision course with Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond (ALAH) for the final week of the regular season with both teams possibly going undefeated. The Titans were looking to play spoiler to those plans on the Redskins’ Senior Night. 

From the opening drive, the tempo of the game went the Redskins’ way, taking the opening drive in just 1:01 into the first quarter as Cooper Christensen found Aiden Ballinger for a 60-yard touchdown pass with 10:59 left. Easton England hit the extra point to make the score 7-0. After a three-and-out by the Titans, SOV struck again on their next possession, using the same combination of Christensen and Ballinger through the air at the 8:17 mark on a 17-yard touchdown pass. The Redskins missed the point after, giving them a 13-0 lead. 

After the Titans went three-and-out on their second possession, Tri-County got a little bit of luck on SOV's next possession as Christensen mishandled the snap and Cole Decker recovered the fumble for the Titans with 5:42 left. However, the Titans were unable to move the ball, turning it over on downs. With 51.4 seconds left in the frame, the Redskins struck again on the ground as Christensen found a seam on a quarterback keeper to go for a 38-yard touchdown. The extra point was missed, resulting in a 19-0 lead after twelve minutes.

The Titan defense struck again early in the second quarter as Caden Logan intercepted a pass from Christensen to give Tri-County some life. Unfortunately, the Redskins defense stood firm, forcing the Titans to turn the ball over on downs. SOV then drove down the short field and hit paydirt via the ground game with 7:47 left as Dexter Parrish scampered in from two yards out.

England's extra point kick made the score 26-0. At the 5:12 mark, the Redskins went to the air once again as Christensen found Kyle Corkill for a 67-yard touchdown pass. The extra point failed, giving SOV a 32-0 lead. 

The Redskins capped off a strong first half at the 2:17 mark as Christensen found Dirk Lane for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Christensen then found Ballinger for the two-point pass making the tally 40-0 going into the halftime break.

With the game in a running clock situation, SOV put in their second string. The Titans took their first possession of the third quarter down the field with the big play being a 38-yard pass from Garrett Pollock to Caden Logan down to the Redskins ten-yard line. Three plays later, Tri-County finally cracked the scoreboard at the 3:28 mark as Alex Hoel ran the ball in from three yards out. The two-point conversion failed making the score 40-6. 

The final scoring play came late in the fourth quarter when SOV got on the board again as Hayden Moody found a hole to run 31 yards for the touchdown. The extra point was no good, making the final score 46-6 in favor of SOV.

Clay Kibler led the Titan attack with eight carries for 18 yards. Alex Hoel finished with four carries for five yards and a touchdown. Myles Watson had three carries for seven yards. Garrett Pollock was three of 12 passing for 51 yards.

Tri-County, Titans, football, Friday October 13