By Wyatt Squires
Tecumseh football suffered a tough loss at home against North Knox on Friday.
The Braves faced the Warriors after a celebratory home-opening win over nearby rivals Pike Central the week before. Fans continued to fill the new bleachers at the team's on-campus field, but a tough opponent left the Braves defeated at the end of the game.
Tecumseh started the game sending the ball to North Knox to receive first. The Warriors took the possession for all it was worth and pushed their way to the end zone, mostly on the ground. A two-point conversion put the Warriors at an early lead, 8-0.
The Braves took their opportunity to move in the air and on the ground and worked their way to the end zone taking up the majority of the rest of the first quarter. Junior quarterback Griffin Tuley found sophomore Travis Parker in the end zone with a clean pass. The extra point put the Braves on the map, only trailing by one extra point.
While carrying their possession into the second quarter, the Warriors made quick work of extending their lead. Less than a minute into the second quarter, the North Knox found the end zone and another two-point conversion put them further ahead, 16-7.
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The Braves got a shot, but were unable to gain a first down. A minute after regaining the ball, Tecumseh was forced to punt the ball away.
North Knox took over with just over 10 minutes still left in the half and didn't take any time to take advantage of the opportunity. The Warriors made their way into the end zone for a third visit with just under nine minutes left in the half. Another two-point conversion gave the Warriors a commanding 24-7 lead.
Another forced punt for the Braves and a quick trip up the field later and the Warriors even further extended their lead to 32-7 with 6:35 still on the clock in the first half. On the first play of the resulting possession, North Knox forced a fumble and regained possession with just under six minutes on the clock.
But the Braves weren't giving up. The Tecumseh defense held back the Warriors leaving North Knox unable to gain the first down and the Braves took back possession with 3:48 on the clock in the first half. A flag for pass interference committed by North Knox finally gave the Braves the first down they had been looking for and the Braves worked up the field.
With just under two minutes on the clock the North Knox defense stood as a force and put the Braves in a fourth and five situation at midfield. Despite an attempt to convert the first down, the Braves were forced to hand the ball back to the Warriors at the 50 with 1:50 on the clock in the second half.
The Warriors worked to move up the field again, but were stopped by Tecumseh's defense as time ran out in the first half. The Braves to the 32-7 deficit into the locker room.
Despite a fierce battle on both ends of the ball, the second half was a lot of the same. At the top of the third, the Braves took possession and quickly gave it back only for the Warriors to score four plays later extending their lead to 40-7.
Tecumseh fought to make something of their next possession with a couple of strong screen pass completions on the possession the Braves were making ground, but a penalty and a wall of defense from North Knox and the Braves were forced to hand over the ball with seven minutes still on the clock in the third quarter.
Four more plays went by and North Knox was in the end zone again, this time without an extra point, leading the Braves, 46-7.
Tecumseh carried their possession into the fourth quarter, but still was unable to find the end zone. The Braves held off the Warriors and gave Tecumseh another chance at offense, but a fumble three plays later put the ball back in the hands of North Knox.
Then, two plays into possession with eight minutes left in the game, the Warriors scored again now leading the Braves, 52-7. While the Braves worked to hold back the Warriors on defense, the offense couldn't turn possessions into points.
In the end, the Braves suffered the 52-7 loss.
Head coach Jeff Daming said the Warriors came out with a strong physical game the Braves weren't ready to stand against.
"They played a much more physical style of game than we wanted to play," he said.
While the team struggled to follow through defensively and committed several mistakes, Daming said he's proud of the work done by underclassmen on the field.
"I'm happy with our younger players," he said.
Now, the Braves will turn around with a home game against Forest Park on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
NKHS -- 3-yard run with a two-point conversion -- 8-0
THS -- 22-yard kick with an extra point field goal - 8-7
NKHS -- 12-yard run with a two-point conversion -- 16-7
NKHS -- 6-yard run with a two-point conversion -- 24-7
NKHS -- 8-yard run with a two-point conversion -- 32-7
NKHS -- 32-yard run with a two-point conversion -- 40-7
NKHS -- 2-yard run, failed two-point conversion -- 46-7
NKHS -- 3-yard run, failed two-point conversion -- 52-7