One of the enduring traits of a strong family is the tendency to vicariously share in one another’s success. The accolades of one family member become a source of pride for the others. On the football field, strong teams have invested sidelines. They rise and fall with the action on the field, and their energy becomes contagious. The really special teams do this not only when the starters are on the field, but when the younger guys get time too.
Such was the scene Friday night at Art Sanders Field, as the varsity starters, despite holding a comfortable 45-0 lead and sidelined for the evening, could not take their eyes off the field as they cheered on their younger counterparts, willing them to hold on to the shutout.
These Senators are good, and a source of that strength is the common bond of brotherhood between teammates.
“Nothing warms my heart more than seniors cheering on freshman on the back half of a Friday night blowout,” said offensive line coach Andrew Burks. “It shows that they care about the program, not just their senior year.”
The Senators would kick off to start the game, and two plays in would take advantage of an errant Tecumseh option pitch and sophomore strong safety Roper McPheeters would hop on the ball to set up the Senators first drive. The Senators would face a 4th down from the Tecumseh 20, and sophomore running back Ethan Roberts would break the scoring ice, following a caravan of Senator blockers into the endzone.
Freshman linebacker Dylan Keller would set the tone for the next drive with a big hit on kick off, before senior linebacker Charles Madden would end the drive, blitzing through the Brave line and tackling the ball carrier for a loss.
McPheeters would waste no time putting the Senators up two scores as he out ran the Brave defense for a 25 touchdown scamper.
After the Senators forced a 4th down, McPheeters would field the ensuing punt and weave through the other 21 bodies on the field for the Senators’ second special team score of the season. Freshman running back Greyson McCoy would lay a key block to spring McPheeters to the endzone.
Senior cornerback Parker Green would end the ensuing Brave drive with an interception and short return, but the Senators would be stopped on downs. The Senators defense would force a 4th down, and senior defensive end Jacob Strange would stretch out his six foot, six inch frame to block the Brave punt.
The two teams would trade possessions before senior quarterback Holden Bowsman would find Green on a 5 yard slant for a touchdown.
Tecumseh would embark on their most promising drive of the evening, aided by several Senator penalties. They would face fourth down in the Senator redzone, before Madden swatted the Brave’s pass attempt to the turf. It was the same play Madden struggled to make in practice earlier this week.
“I was super excited to make that play,” said Madden. “I got so mad in practice, but it was nice to be able to execute during the game. Every game could be my last game, and I just want to keep it going as long as I can.”
“Charles is good at so many things, and it is good for him to find things to work on,” said Burks. “I am very proud of him for battling and overcoming.”
With less than two minutes remaining until halftime, the Senators would quickly drive the field before Bowsman would find Green again on a 15 yard corner route.
That score would enact the running clock starting in the second half.
The Senators would add one more score as Bowsman would toss his third touchdown pass of the evening to Strange from 18 yards out.
Junior Hunter Thompson would end the Tecumseh drive with an interception before the teams ran out the clock.
The Senators (9-0) will host Perry Central at At Sanders Field for the Sectional 48 championship. Kickoff is at 7:30.