The Braves’ defense makes a stop on a running play in a 17-6 home playoff loss against Mt. Zion on Saturday.
By Blake Faith
The Mt. Zion football team suffered a 17-6 loss in 4A IHSA playoff play against Paris on Saturday night. Tyson Evans threw for 100 yards and completed a touchdown pass for the Braves.
The Mt. Zion offense came out and advanced the football behind their running backs Zac Girard and Adam Lutz. The Braves failed to score on their first drive.
The Tigers responded by running the football. Brady Crippes advanced the ball running a quarterback keeper play and got into the red zone. Crippes capitalized when he ran in the ball for a two-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 7-0.
The Braves’ defense forced stops throughout the next two quarters. The defense was able to contain the run game and stopped a crucial scoring play late in the second quarter.
The Tigers ran a reverse option to quarterback Ethan Dick who launched a deep pass to Drew Pinkston that put them right in the red zone. The Braves’ defense forced two straight stops as the time expired to make the score 7-0.
Early in the third quarter, the Braves’ nearly had a muffed kickoff, but got blown away due to not fully controlling the football. The Braves’ defense forced the Tigers’ offense to punt but couldn’t finish the drive on offense.
The Tigers’ offense came back and ran another reverse play. This time Dick fired a 21-yard pass to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead. The Tigers’ offense scored once more in the fourth quarter Landen Englum scored on a 22-yard field goal.
The Braves offense scored late in the fourth quarter. Evans threw a 40-yard pass to Ethan Hamrick that narrowed the lead to 14-6.
“Their kids made some plays and we gave some couple trick plays, and it really led to the points,” Head coach Patrick Etherton said. “And then we struggled moving the football and we struggled physically upfront. We made some mistakes that we haven’t done in a while. but I mean we got the ball in the end and we got a chancet to at least get a touchdown and we got a chance for an onside kick, but we have some young kids playing some key spots, and they got to understand what it takes in the playoffs at the caliber.”
The Tigers ran out the clock and advanced to the next round of the playoffs and will face Rochester.
The Braves’ finish the season 6-4. The Braves graduate 16 seniors. Those seniors are: Kemper Koslofski, Girard, Frank Tyroll, Christian Keyhea, Mathias Adams, Lawrence Trimble, Gage Franklin, Ethan Hamrick, Jacob Rambo, Lutz, Joe Mitchell, Aiden Page, Gavin McInerney, Ryne Buttz, Josh England and Andrew Detmers.
“They’ve been through a lot with COVID. And not having playoffs and then you get to this and its tough. It’s tough for those guys. And it’s tough to get in a scenario and have two weeks or two years of not having the playoffs and so I Feel bad for last year’s seniors more than I probably feel bad for this year’s seniors. These guys got the opportunity to have a full season and have a normal year and then get the playoffs. We have a great group and had kids who’ve done everything we asked for four years. We wish them the best and we’re fortunate some of those guys are going to continue playing.”