XENIA — The first few snaps of the game were halted due to trouble with the game balls needing to be switched out.
What made it onto the field by the refs approval didn’t seem to help Xenia as Tippecanoe raced out to an early lead and didn’t look back during a 30-0 win in a key Miami Valley League game.
The Bucs had been performing well recently, but are still looking for week-to-week consistency and found things difficult for the second time this year in a road game within the league.
“We’re still a young team that is growing and learning,” Xenia head coach Maurice Harden said. “Still trying to get better. Like I tell them all the time, we’re going to make mistakes and things are not going to be perfect. But it’s not about what we do in that moment, it’s how we respond to it.”
A 23-0 halftime deficit for Xenia had nothing to do with the property of the balls, as it was the Red Devil offense that set the tone early.
After a safety due to a poor snap on a punt by Xenia, the Red Devils quickly moved down the field and scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass. Running in a two-point conversion, it was 10-0 Tipp in the first four minutes.
Xenia seemed to gain some footing following an interception late in the quarter by senior Tremell Wright, but the offense missed three consecutive pass attempts to give the ball right back.
The Bucs came closest to scoring at the end of the half following confusion on which team had touched a downed Xenia punt first, with the ball eventually given back to them at midfield.
Getting down to Tipp’s 5-yard line, freshman Gavin McManus was stopped short on a fourth-down scramble to end a frustrating half.
“You take the good with the bad,” Harden said. “There’s going to be really good times where you execute, defensively sometimes we’re going to lineup right and sometimes we’re going to line up wrong. We’ve got to be able to see our kids and our coaches persist and focus on the process and not be result driven and if we do that will be good.”
Tipp came into the game as the league’s second highest scoring offense, with Xenia having the second best scoring defense.
Tipp stays in the thick of the race for the MVL crown, as the only two undefeated squads left in the league along with Piqua.
Xenia after this week may either stay in first-place on its own within the Valley Division, or tied with Stebbins depending on Friday night results.
With a rare Thursday night game behind them, the Bucs next prepare to host Vandalia-Butler on Oct. 1.
“We’re going to keep building on the fact that our effort didn’t stop, and we continue to just keep fighting,” Harden said. “We’re going to learn from this, get in the film room, have a conversation to grow and get better and once we do that I think we will be in good shape.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498.