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Crawford County turned the ball over five times during its game against visiting Tecumseh, including this fumble in the second half. (Photo by Wade Bell)

Tecumseh waters down Wolfpack, 41-0

September 17, 2008
It was a frustrating night on a rain-soaked field Friday as the host Crawford County Wolfpack fell victim to a host of turnovers in their 41-0 loss to the visiting Braves of Tecumseh. A slippery pigskin proved to be the biggest problem, as turnovers kept the Wolfpack off the scoreboard.

"The first half wasn't all that frustrating because we kept ourselves in the ball game," Crawford coach Brian Ruble said. "We turned the ball over again. That's nine times in the last two games. That just can't happen against good teams, last week against Perry and tonight. I know it's a wet situation. They turned the ball over a number or times, too, but the matter of fact is we told them going into this game there was a couple of factors, and they beat us at both factors."

Crawford looked to have a good drive going on its first possession, but ended up giving the ball up on downs on the Tecumseh 30-yard line.

The Braves then used nine plays to get into the end zone, Bryce Spelcher running 33 yards on a draw play for the score and a 6-0 lead.

Crawford went three-and-out on its next possession. Tecumseh looked to punt the ball on fourth down on its next possession, but tried a fake punt play, which failed, and Crawford took the ball over on downs.

It was only three plays later that the Wolfpack gave up the ball for their first turnover on a fumble. Tecumseh also fumbled the ball, but Crawford later had to punt away on fourth-and-11.

It took just four plays for the Braves to get in the end zone again as Jacob Duncan made the 11-yard run. Kolton Chapman went in for the conversion and the Braves had a 14-0 lead, the score at halftime.

"They've got some really quick kids," Ruble said. "We knew that coming in. I was hoping the wet field would help us out a little bit. Number two, our defense, we didn't adjust very well. We prepared all week long for their motion sweeps. They switched some things and they just beat us to the punch. We were just one step behind. That one step will cost you in varsity football like it did tonight."

Duncan and Spelcher ran the football early in the third period, then the Braves went to the air, moving the ball to the Crawford 27-yard line. After a two-yard gain, Chapman then threw to Duncan for a 25-yard score and a 20-0 lead.

Crawford kept the ball on the ground for their its next three plays. The Wolfpack caught a break on their next play when the Braves were called for pass interference. Daniel Allen later threw to Jonathon Bowles for a first down on the Tecumseh 22-yard line. After being hit with an illegal procedure penalty, Crawford had four incomplete passes, giving up the ball on downs.

Craig Finney carried the ball to the 22-yard line, but the Braves coughed up the ball on their next play.

With Crawford looking to score from the Tecumseh 14-yard line, Spelcher intercepted a Daniel Allen pass, carrying the ball to near midfield. Chapman threw to Spelcher again, the play going to the 2-yard line. Spelcher carried the ball in for the score, and Chapman got the conversion to give the Braves a 28-0 lead.

Tecumseh got two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and went on for the 41-0 shutout.

"First of all we've got to take care of the football and no turnovers against good teams," Ruble said. "We didn't do that tonight. What was disappointing was, we got beat up front tonight and I didn't think that was going to happen. I really thought that we were equal to them. Maybe not a whole lot better but equal to them in which we'd be able to sustain some things. I was disappointed in that."

Crawford was also called for two unsportsman penalties in the second half that were costly. Ruble said the coaching staff would work to see that doesn't happen again.

"I told them we are a proud football team and a proud community and these personal fouls that we had, a couple of them, are unacceptable," he said. "We are going to correct that."

Tecumseh kept its record clean at 4-0, while the Wolf Pack dropped to 2-2. Ruble said he didn't consider the team's last two losses as setbacks but not steps forward either.

"We just haven't taken a step forward since the last two weeks," Ruble said. "Tecumseh is a good ball team. I don't think they're as good as Perry Central (Crawford's opponent the previous Friday), but they're a good ball team. They're both ranked in the state, but that's no excuse. We're a better football team than we showed tonight. We proved that the first two weeks.

"We've just got to learn to overcome adversity. We've got some young players that just need to do a better job of focus. I think they will. It's just a matter of growing up and playing varsity football. It's just a matter of some growing pains."

"We've just got to do a better job as coaches, as players, of making better adjustments and getting better," he said. "I think we'll do that. I think we'll do that (Friday at Mitchell), but again it's just a matter of coming back together and taking these two losses as a learning experience and coming back (Friday) and getting a win."

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