As the Rams prepared for the 2022 season way back in the heart of summer in August, they knew that they had their work in front of them.
Little did the ’22 Rams know that three of their four losses would be to teams that would be playing in the OHSAA Elite Eight, Liberty Center, Elmwood, and Antwerp. Tinora defeated Lima Central Catholic, another Elite Eight team.
Tinora faced the loss of personnel due to graduations at many key positions.
The Rams graduated a fantastic 2021 class. GMC player of the year KP Delarber as well as the GMC Defensive player of the year Baeden Hancock and the rest of a very productive 2021 class of Hyler Hespe, Dylan Camp, Joshua Bland, Casen Wolfrum, Eric Bohn, Bryce Bailey, Hayden Becker, Nolan Schafer, & Cole Commisso.
Most of the 2021 Rams graduation class was named to the All GMC Football Team at the end of the 2021 season.
After a week one loss on the road to the Liberty Center Tigers, 31-0, the Rams didn’t know if it was going to be a rebuilding season or just opening night jitters due to inexperience.
After the first 10 minutes of game two vs Wauseon, again, things again looked bleak for the Rams. Trailing the high power offense of the Indians, 7-0, that was until a Kadyn Radzik interception return for a touchdown seemed to ignite the Rams and propel them to a 24-17-win vs the Indians and a very successful season for Tinora.
A week three showdown on a Saturday afternoon in Lima vs the powerhouse Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds showed the Rams what they could be building in the young 2022 season. Two defensive scores, including a Braydon Roesti pick-six with 12 seconds remaining, sealed the Rams 20-7 road win as Tinora Improved to 2-1.
The Rams began their defense of the GMC title started in week four as they hosted longtime rival, the Apaches of Fairview. It was the Graham Askins show as the Tinora defense had the Apache offense on lockdown as they limited Fairview to minus 16 yards of total offense as the Rams cruised to a 34-0 win, improving to 3-1. Askins would register 4 sacks in the game. The Rams would improve to 3-1.
The up-and-coming Antwerp Archers came to Justin F Coressel Field in week five, and oh what a battle it was. Tinora, playing without its main weapon on offense, Brandon Edwards, battled the talented Archers to the final whistle. Antwerp scored with 3:02 left in the game to grab a 20-14 lead over the Rams. Tinora marched down the field in an attempt to tie or win the game, only to see a fourth down pass fall incomplete in the Archer endzone with 20 seconds remaining.
Tinora would fall to 3-2, and the Antwerp would defeat Tinora for the first time since 2003.
Week six, a trip to Raider Nation as Tinora travel over to take on the Wayne Trace Raiders. In another slug fest, which saw Rams D-lineman Javen Gaines see his first action of the season, saw Tinora escape with a 13-6 win. Brandon Edwards came through with an electric 30 yards TD pass from Dominic Graziani. Rams fans would get to see more of Graziani at QB and his magic over the six weeks. Gaines return would impact the Rams D the rest of the season. Tinora would improve to 4-2.
The River Bowl, week seven. Not much more needs to be said any given season when the Pilots are involved. Unfortunately for the Rams, it was a week they would like to erase from their memories. Off-the-field issues plagued the Rams, capped by the resignation of longtime Tinora coach Kenny Krouse.
On the field, the Pilots took the Victory Bell with them across the Maumee River back to Ayersville for the first time since 2016 with a 22-6 win. The Rams would lose senior leader Gavin Eckert for the season due to injury early during this contest, Tinora would see talented Dominic Graziani the rest of the way at QB. The loss would drop Tinora to 4-3.
Coach Krouse would leave the Rams in his 25th season with a 182-87 record, two Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015.
Week eight saw a trip to Paulding to take on the Panthers. The tide was turned right before the half as the Rams Teron Ward blocked a game-tying field goal attempt, the ball landed in the arms of Dominic Graziani who raced 85 yards for a Tinora touchdown. The Rams would dominate the second half in a 27-8 win. Tinora would improve to 5-3.
Week nine was the week that everything clicked for Tinora as the Rams had their most dominating performance over the Edgerton Bulldogs, 31-6. The Tinora defense dominated the high-power Bulldog attack, limiting them to just 120 total yards of offense. Senior RB Branson Edwards let the Rams with 19 carries for 143 yards and two scores.
In the regular season finale, Tinora traveled over to Hicksville to battle the Aces. Tinora again dominated on both sides of the ball in a 54-7 win.
Tinora would end the regular season with a 7-3 record, the Rams would finish the GMC at 5-2. The Rams would be the 10th seed in the OHSAA DIV V Region 18 playoffs.
The Rams playoff trail would take them for a 2 hr. 30-min bus trip southeast to take on the Fighting Scotts of Highland. Again, Tinora’s defense was up to the task, this time facing all Ohio running back Dane Nauman. Nauman entered the game as one of the best backs in the nation as far as total yardage.
Tinora would take control on the first play, Cole Anders would scamper 76 yards for a TD, Tinora would never look back, cruising to a 37-7 win. The Rams defense dominated the Scots as Tinora would advance to round 2 of the playoffs.
In round two, Tinora took on the high-powered Elmwood Royals. Over the first 31 mins, the Rams seemed to be in control of the game with a 15-7 lead. The Royals offense seemed to find the missing cheat code, unleashing 27 points in an 11-min span, coming away with a 34-15 win, ending the 2022 Tinora football season. The Rams finished with an 8-4 overall record, finishing 5-2 in the GMC.
Taking off the green and white for the last time on the gridiron were seniors Gavin Eckert, Brandon Edwards, Cole Anders, Dallas Dachenhaus, Jacob Guisinger, Teron Ward, Will Newman, Javen Gaines, Cole Sweinhagen, and Steven Bohn Jr.
Thank you all for all of your years as a Ram football player.
And a thanks to the Tinora football staff who stepped up and ended the season as one of the best teams in the area.
Head Coach: Jeff Schliesser (interim)
Assistant Coaches: Eric Becker, Casey Helton, Charlie Kelly, and Chris Kime
Thanks to everyone for the support on Tinora Rams Live, and thanks to the fantastic crew of Logan Bailey, Tony Fairchild, AJ Fairchild, Mike Bailey, and Kayla Fairchild for all the help in 2022.
The All-GMC Team members for the Rams were:
First Team members Brandon Edwards -RB, Jacob Bishop-K, Dallas Dachenhaus-D-End, Javen Gaines-D-Tackle.
Second Team Grady Gustwiller-WR, Hunter Bostelman, O-Line, Grady Gustwiller-LB, Brayden Roesti-LB, Brandon Edwards-D-Back,
Honorable Mention team Joey Guisinger & Dominic Graziani
The Rams are building for another great run in 2023.
Unofficial Tinora final stats.
The 2022 Tinora Rams 8-4 (502 GMC)
A look ahead to the unofficial 2023 Tinora Rams football schedule: