Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Ada fumbled the opening kickoff and Austin Trout recovered the loose pigskin for the home town Savages and Tecumseh converted the early turnover into a 22-yard field goal by Jennifer Goethe.
Tecumseh fans thought maybe, just maybe, a Homecoming miracle may be taking place before their very eyes.
Despite being just 34 yards away from paydirt, the Savages pounded the ball into the middle of the defense over and over and converted a pair of fourth downs along the way. After Tecumseh had to settle for the field goal, the Savaged had still milked away over half of the first-quarter clock without Ada having an offensive snap.
However, the Cougars scored on their only two possessions of the quick first half to build a 14-3 halftime lead before finally pulling away in the second half for a convincing 35-10 win.
No. 6 Ada left town at 4-1 overall and 2-0 in District 4A-2 play while Tecumseh slipped to 1-4 and 0-2.
“I thought they had a great game plan. They used every second of the play clock to shorten the game,” said Ada head coach Matt Weber after the game. “They moved the ball well and bled the clock. Their quarterback did a good job and got them out of some tough situations. We’re proud of the win. We’re 2-0 in the district but we know there’s a lot of getting better to do.”
Ada used several short-to-medium range passes to drive down the field for its first score. The biggest was a 24-yarder to Gabriel Simon on a fourth-and-six play. Running back Jeremiah Larry plunged in from the 2 to put Ada on top 7-3 with just 45 seconds left in the opening period.
Tecumseh ran nine plays, and more time off the clock, to start the second quarter before tuning the ball over on downs.
Ada maneuvered 69 yards in 12 plays with Larry getting free for a 24-yard run (he fumbled and Tecumseh recovered at the end of the play but he stepped out of bounds before losing the football) during the drive. Kilby capped it off with a nifty 19-yard TD keeper up the middle after executing a nice play fake that had Tecumseh defenders on their heels.
After the second of five Todd Penick PAT kicks, Ada led 14-3.
The Savages would run out the final five-plus minutes of the first half and got as close as the Ada 13 before letting Goethe attempt a 32-yard field goal into the win. The kick had plenty of distance but sailed wide right, leaving the Cougars with the 11-point cushion.
Ada quarterback Cory Kilby competed 10-of-13 first-half passes for 93 yards in his first varsity start but wasn’t quite as efficient over the final two quarters. He ended the game 13-of-23 for 123 yards and threw his first interception of the season.
“Cory did a good job and played great tonight and the line kept him clean. He made good decisions with the football most of the time,” Weber said.
It was just the opposite for the Ada ground game as the Cougars rushed for just 44 yards in the first half but finished with 182 yards.
Weber said Tecumseh crowded the line of scrimmage on defense for most of the game, forcing Kilby to sling the ball around.
“They were stacking the box on us. We have to try and fit what we do around his talents now. He’s 6-7 and has good pocket capability,” he said.
Ada took advantage of a 12-yard Tecumseh punt into a stiff south breeze and needed just four plays to cover 35 yards. Kilby connected with Simons from a 20-yard gain and tailback Austin Feezle capped the drive with a 9-yard TD run that put Ada on top 21-3.
After Tecumseh turned the ball over on downs late in the third quarter, Larry broke free for a 44-yard TD run around the left end on the first play of the fourth quarter to push the Ada lead to 28-3.
The Savages scored on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Micah Sanchez to receiver Jake Smiley with 8:21 to play to get within 28-10 and two plays later Easton Marrs picked off an errant Kilby pass.
But Ada again turned Tecumseh away on fourth down and on the Cougars’ ensuing drive, tailback Shiloh Windsor rushed six straight times for 73 yards — including a 36-yard TD jaunt during which he leaped over a fallen Tecumseh defender on his way to paydirt.
“We got in that double tight set and No. 6 (Larry) broke a long one and No. 33 (Windsor) came in there and had some good runs,” Weber said.
The Cougars entertain Santa Fe South in a Week 6 matchup at Norris Field. The Saint Bernards (1-4) dropped a 40-6 decision to McLoud Friday night.