Tippecanoe’s seniors have never beaten Shawnee. Maybe that’s why barely a minute had passed after their 35-7 victory at Kenton Ridge on Friday when their thoughts turned to Week 10 and a matchup of 9-0 teams.
“We’re ready for Shawnee now,” senior running back Jacob Hall said. “That’s all that matters. We’ve been waiting for this our whole lives. It’s about to be a special week.”
Hall had a special night against the Cougars. He ran for a career-high five touchdowns and rushed for a season-high 209 yards on 17 carries. Two touchdown runs, of 69 and 56 yards, accounted for more than half of Hall’s production.
Four of Hall’s touchdowns came in the second half. This was still a close game at halftime. Neither team could get anything going offensively in the first half. Unless you’re a punt lover, there wasn’t much to see.
Tippecanoe had 84 yards in the first half. Kenton Ridge had 36.
“I told them at halftime I had them wound too tight,” Tippecanoe coach Charlie Burgbacher said. “We were like a garage door spring that was ready to explode.”
The second half was a different story. Kenton Ridge had one chance to tie the game, taking over at the Tippecanoe 28-yard line after a bad snap on a punt by the Red Devils on their first possession in the third quarter. The Cougars couldn’t capitalize, however.
Hall took over the game from there. Kenton Ridge didn’t get on the board until the final minutes when quarterback Mitchell Schneider scored on a 1-yard run.
“We showed up in the second half,” Hall said.
Tippecanoe should get a boost in the computer ratings with this victory. Through seven weeks, it was ranked fifth, and Kenton Ridge was seventh. Shawnee was third.
Tippecanoe hosts the Braves next Friday with a perfect season and Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division title on the line. Shawnee beat Tippecanoe 20-14 last season, 49-7 in 2011 and 21-18 in 2010.
“It’s going to be fun next week,” Burgbacher said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”