MARENGO – The Tinora Rams loaded the busses for the long trip south, roughly 2 hrs and 30 mins long, to take on the Highland Fighting Scots in the opening round of the OHSAA football playoffs.
The task for the Rams defense, stopping “a Great Dane.” Highland running back Dane Nauman came in as one of the best RB’s in Ohio, as well as the nation in rushing yardage. Nauman came in averaging 227 yards per game, gaining nearly 2300 yards with 27 TD’s in 2022. Nauman had four games rushing for more than 300 yards in the regular season.
What Nauman the Fighting Scots didn’t see coming was a brick wall that was up for nearly 48 minutes in the Tinora Rams defense.
The Rams D wasted little time in letting Nauman know they were here on a business trip, not pleasure, as Tinora held Nauman to -2 yards on the opening Scots drive.
After a Highland punt, Cole Anders saw the ball roll off his fingers behind him, alertly Anders fell on the muffed punt. All Cole Anders did to redeem himself was take the Rams first offensive play of the game 74 yards down the left sideline for a 74 yard touchdown. Jacob Bishop added the XP, Tinora led 7-0 with 9:46 left in the initial quarter.
After a first quarter that saw the Rams defense limit Dane Nauman to nine carries for just four yards, Tinora took a 7-0 lead to the second quarter.
The second quarter started with the Rams deep in Highland territory. The Rams would hit pay dirt with 11:02 left in the first half as senior Dallas Dachenhaus would rumble in for a four yard TD, the XP was blocked, the Rams led the Scots 13-0.
Still trying to get started, the Scots caught a break at the 9:30 mark before half as they recovered a Tinora fumble at the Rams 36-yard line. Highland drove deep into Tinora territory before the Rams defense again turned away the Scots attack, this time on a fourth down conversion pass that fell incomplete.
The Rams would march back down the field right before the half, capped off by another Dallas Dachenhaus touchdown, the Bishop XP gave Tinora a 20-0 lead with 4:23 remaining.
The Scots, still stifled by the Tinora defense, would attempt to add some points prior to the half ending, what they got was another empty drive. This drive ended as the Rams Grady Gustwiller would cause Nauman to fumble, Dallas Dachenhaus would recover at the Highland 36-yard line.
The Rams would get down to the Scots 14-yard line, Tinora would have to settle for a Jacob Bishop 31-yard field goal, Tinora would take a 23-0 to the locker room.
Tinora would out gain Highland in the initial half, 256 to 54. The Rams defense would limit the All State back Nauman to just 12 carries for 27 yards.
The Tinora Rams would grab a 29-0 lead midway through the third quarter as Grady Gustwiller would grab a Dominic Graziani pass in the end zone for a 29 yard score, Bishop would add the XP for a 30-0 lead.
After the Gustwiller score, what no one expected for either side was a running clock at the 7:21 mark in the third quarter.
Tinora would add more points to start the fourth quarter, Dallas Dachenhaus would score his third touchdown of the game, this time from 24 yards out, as the Rams would lead 37-0 with 7:45 remaining in the contest.
As the Rams shuffled out the starters and the reserves saw some playing time, the Scots Dane Naughten would finally find the end zone as he raced 52 yards for a score, Highland still trailed the Rams 37-7 with 6:19 in the fourth quarter.
Tinora would take the next five minutes off the clock, as the Tinora ground attack was in full force, leaving the Scots with just over 60 seconds left in the contest.
The Rams would end the game with a 37-7 convincing win over the Highland Scots.
Dane Nauman would end the game with 102 yards, will under his 227 yards per game average, gaining most of his yards late after the game was already decided.
Tinora would see two runners go over the 100 yard mark, Cole Anders would wind up with 119 and a score, while Dachenhaus would wind up with 102 and three scores.
Tinora would outgain Highland 358 to 151, dominating the rushing stats, 292-121.
The Higbea Player of the Game went to the Tinora D Line of Javen Gaines, Dallas Dachendaus, Jr Bohn, Teron Ward, and Graham Askins. What a fantastic job by the Tinora defensive line tonight.
A great game by the Rams players and staff.
Tinora improves to 8-3, the Rams will advance to plat at #2 seed Elmwood on Friday night.
The Highland Scots see their season come to an end at 7-4.
Best wishes to the Scots senior class of Zack Schmidt, Matt Scarbury, Layton Shaffer, Caleb Hunter, Gavin DeBord, Gavin Hankins, Own Stillwell, Chandler Stevens, Landon Pedigo, Nick Smith, and Trevor VanDyke.
A special thanks to AD Mike Delaney and his staff, nothing but the best from the Scots staff.
Listen back to the Rams win, click below: