Heading into Friday night, one could argue this first time meeting on the gridiron between Tinora and Leipsic on paper was the best game in NW Ohio. And boy, did it turn out to be a humdinger.
With almost perfect weather conditions, compared to the first two weeks of upper 80’s temperature, and humidity to match, both teams were looking for their second win on the season.
Both Tinora and Leipsic had high expectations heading into the 2021 season, each team standing at 1-1 as they entered Justin F Coressel Stadium Friday night.
The Rams jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead over Leipsic as Senior TE Casen Wolfrum hauled in a 15 yard TD pass from Tinora QB Nolan Schafer with 7:56 remaining in the first quarter. The XP was no good as it hit the upright.
Tinora marched down the field again, this time senior kicker Dylan Camp hit a 38-yard field goal, increasing the Tinora lead to 9-0 with 5:28 left in quarter one.
Tinora seemed to take control of the game midway though the second quarter, as Nolan Schafter took a QB keeper in from 1 yard out, giving the Rams of Tinora a 60-0 lead with 10:43 left before the half.
The ensuing kickoff resulted in a 70 yard return by Leipsic;s Hayden Hiegel, setting the Vikings offense up at the Tinora 12-yard line. Leipsic RB Heigel took it in from 5 yards out cutting the Rams lead to 16-7 at the 9:06 mark in quarter two.
Lepsic was not done, however. With 1:35 remaining before the half, Hiegle again put the Vikings on the board with another 5 yard score, cutting the Rams lead to 16-13 as the teams headed to the half.
Both teams battled for field position in the third quarter, with neither team breaking though. We headed to the fourth quarter, the Rams still leading 16-13.
The game remained with the Rams leading 16-13 midway through the fourth quarter. Leipsic mounted a drive, on a key third and goal, Vikings QB Dillan Niese took it in from 1 yard out, putting the Leipsic Vikings up 20-16 with 6:58 remaining in the contest.
After a short kickoff and a nice return to the Tinora 44 yard line by Rams Christian Commisso, the Tinora offense took over, trailing for the first time in the game.
Tinora junior Cole Anders took the handoff 56 yards for a Tinora touchdown, answering the Leipsic score, giving the Tinora Rams a 23-20 lead with 6:39 remaining.
The Tinora D stepped up, stopping the Vikings offense, forcing a punt. The Rams offense took over, trying to run out the remaining time, protecting the three point lead.
Facing a fourth and inches, Rams QB Nolan Schafer used a QB sneak from the Leipsic 45-yard line, converting a first down and closing out a Rams win, 23-20.
For his efforts, Cole Anders was named the Higbea Embroidery Player of the game. Anders ended his night with 71 yards and a game winning score.
The Rams finished the night with 348 total yards, 256 of those on the ground.
The Tinora defense again held the opposition to less than 40 yards on the ground, holding the Vikings to 38 yards rushing, and 189 yards for the game. Last week, Leipsic rushed for 288 yards vs Fairview.
Leipsic falls to 1-2, and travels to Ada next Friday.
The Rams improve to 2-1. Tinora will travel to Antwerp next Friday to face the high-powered Archers as the Rams start GMC play. Antwerp (2-1) has outscored its 2021 opponents 146-34, averaging 48 PPG in 2021.
Thank you for all tuning in, and thanks to Logan, Tony, and AJ for assisting.
KP Delarber 20 rushes 95 yards
Anders 5 for 71 yards, 1 TD
Christina Commisso 9 for 42 yards
Brandon Edwards 4 for 24
Nolan Schafer 6 for 26
Cole Commisso 7 for 59 yards
Casen Wolfrum 1 for 15, 1 TD
Christian Commisso 1 for 15
Anders 1 for 3
Schroeder 6 for 85 yards
Seifker 4 for 64 yards
Hiegel 4 for 22 yards
Pena 10 for 17 yards
Photos: Emily Brown