Poor field position costly for Savages

Fred Fehr

BLANCHARD — The Lions of Blanchard won the field-position battle en route to a 34-14 triumph over District 4A-2 opponent Tecumseh Thursday night.

Blanchard, 4-0 in 4A-2 and 5-2 overall, scored on its second and sixth possessions of the opening half to take a 14-0 lead into the intermission.

The first touchdown was set up by a 30-yard punt return to the Savage 26. On a fourth-and-2 play, a pass reception in the flat resulted in a broken tackle and 18-yard touchdown at the five-minute mark of the opening quarter.

The Savages, on their second possession, used a roughing-the-passer penalty and a 12-yard run by junior Chad Wynne to move into Blanchard’s red zone. Unfortunately, the next four plays — two passes and two rushes — produced just one yard.

On its next three possessions, Tecumseh started at its 5, 19 and 4-yard lines. One Blanchard drive was launched at the Tecumseh 24, but the visitors’ defense stiffened, relinquishing only five yards on four snaps.

Blanchard’s second touchdown came on a 40-yard drive following a 9-yard punt return. The Lions completed a 25-yard TD pass.

Blanchard, on its last possession of the half, took over at the Tecumseh 24 but several incomplete passes and an infraction stymied the threat.

Anthony O’Guinn, a Savage junior, intercepted a pass on the game’s first possession.

Tecumseh struck paydirt on the initial possession of the second half, thanks to two long pass completions by quarterback Monte Valois to Gavyn Rogers.

Kane Ainesworth, a 220-pound senior, scored from the 1-yard line on fourth down.

Blanchard returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, only to have Dylan Graham respond with a 60-yard scoring scamper to pull Tecumseh within 20-14.

Blanchard drove into Tecumseh territory and stalled, but again used a quality punt to pin the Savages at their 7-yard line. Four plays later, Blanchard earned a safety and 22-14 advantage when the center snap sailed over the punter’s head and through the end zone

Blanchard added two fourth-quarter touchdowns on long runs to close out the scoring.

Kevin Dodd kicked both of Tecumseh’s extra points.

Tecumseh’s Jake Trice claimed an interception.

“Field position was huge, especially against a team that plays good defense,” said Tecumseh head coach Ty Bullock. “Defensively, we played very well. We had a hard time running against them. They have great team speed.”

Tecumseh dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the district.

Note:Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.