With packed stands in the new home for Tecumseh football, the Braves christened the field with a win over Pike Central.
The Braves faced the Chargers last Friday night with the very first game on the new field on the campus at Tecumseh High School. Despite a battle in the second half, the Braves defeated Pike Central 28-6.
The Braves started strong in the first quarter forcing a fumble only three plays in to take possession only a minute into the game. Just a minute later junior quarterback Griffin Tuley led the Braves into the end zone and a cleared extra point gave Tecumseh a 7-0 lead over Pike Central with 10:15 still left in the first quarter.
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In their second possession, Pike Central held on a little longer, but couldn't convert a first down and ended up punting back to Tecumseh.
The Braves made the possession count again with Tuley utilizing sophomore Travis Parker and senior Weston Stamps on the run.
With just under six minutes still on the clock in the first quarter, the Braves marched into the end zone, this time missing the extra point, and expanded their lead to 13-0.
The Tecumseh defense continued to battle blocking the run and forcing Pike Central to take to the air. After two incomplete passes, the Chargers were forced to punt once again with just under five minutes left on the clock in the first quarter.
The Braves took possession and this time carried it out into the second quarter, but only just. After Parker and Stamps continued to lead on the run, the Braves crossed into the endzone again less than a minute into the second quarter and a two-point conversion put Tecumseh's score to 21.
On Pike Central's first play after the kickoff, another fumble allowed the Braves to recover and take back possession with 11 minutes still on the clock in the first half.
However, the Chargers weren't ready to lay down yet. The Pike Central defense battled back and stopped the Braves forcing a turnover on the fourth down with just over 10 minutes in the half.
This time the Chargers fought to make something of their possession. The Chargers worked to make do with the tough Braves defense and found a way to the end zone with seven minutes left in the half. A blocked extra point attempt still left the Braves with a strong 21-6 margin.
With pressure growing, Tuley brought in some moves on the air with seniors Blake Miles and Jacob Titzer to add to Stamps and Parker's work on the ground. With a pass into the end zone and a good extra point, the Braves extended their lead to 28-6 with three minutes still left on the clock in the first half
Despite failing to score on their next possession, the Chargers fought to hold back the Braves and closed out the half without either team adding points on the board.
In fact, throughout the second half, it was much of the same. While both teams worked to find space on offense, the defensive might held back any attempt to advance.
With some major losses on flags for personal fouls, the Braves failed to add any more points throughout the second half, but also prevented Pike Central from scoring.
In the end, the score at half time stood as the final score with the Braves taking the win, 28-6.
Head coach Jeff Daming said the team will keep focusing on taking baby steps to improve. He said Tuley and the team stepped up to a challenge with Pike Central and were happy to take a win over the nearby rival.
"The kids played a great first half, but there's still more work to do," he said.
Daming said it was simply a good night to take a win on the first night on the new field.
"It's exciting," he said. "Not that every win isn't important, but this one is special."
The Braves will turn around for a second home game of the season with a matchup against North Knox on Friday at 6:30 p.m.