LEWISBURG — Tri-County North went up against Southwestern Buckeye League foe Brookville, Saturday, Aug. 27, and came up short in their season opener, 26-14.
The contest was postponed from Friday due to weather conditions.
Brookville opened up with a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Panthers responded by tying up the game at halftime, 7-7. Each team notched more points in the third quarter, but it was Brookville who scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth to seal the victory.
The Panthers opened with the first drive, but were called on two miscues and punted. Brookville scored first, but North responded with their first touchdown of the game on a dive from Tanner Booth, to tie the score.
From that point on, each team moved the ball on the other, but was unable to produce any points. North only punted twice throughout the game, showing it was willing to take chances on fourth down to try and win the game. TCN did have a touchdown pass which would have given them the lead called back on a holding penalty. Because of the miscue, the Panthers were forced to try a long field goal on fourth down, but failed.
In the third quarter, the Blue Devils scored on the first play of the second half to notch the score up to 13-7. The Panthers responded with a touchdown, but they made their point after try, unlike Brookville, and took a 14-13 lead.
The scoreboard did not change until six minutes left in the fourth quarter, when Brookville crossed the goal line for the third time. The Blue Devils attempted a 2-point conversion and failed, making the score 19-14. North was up next, for a rallying score, but turned the ball over on downs deep inside their own territory. This allowed the Blue Devils to capitalize and they scored a touchdown with a point after to lock it up for the visitors.
“I think we were doing well with our varsity players,” said coach Bill Derringer. “At halftime, we lost a couple of players, one with a collarbone fracture and two with heat exhaustion. The opening play in the second half, we didn’t have anybody there at outside linebacker and a corner where the starters were lost during the game. Brookville ran that side on the first play of the second half and they ran 70 yards for that touchdown.
“We had a few mistakes that cost us,” Derringer said.
North quarterbackBo Hendrickson was 4-for-7 passing for 33 yards and one touchdown. Booth was the workhorse for the Panthers with 21 carries for 117 yards and one TD.
“He (Booth) ran hard throughout the game,” Derringer said. “He got most of his yards during contact and was averaging about three to five yards per carry. He’s just a tough runner.”
Zach Edgin rushed 11 times for 46 yards. Hendrickson tossed his lone touchdown pass to Mason Dreischarf in the third quarter.
Defensively for the Panthers, the team was led by Dakota Dixon at defensive tackle with 10 tackles. Drake Coleman and Chase Gunder each made eight stops. Booth was in on seven tackles. Jacob Brown made a good play at defensive end with a sack and fumble caused, recovered by Gunder.
Tri-County North combined for 169 yards rushing. The team had 202 total yards on the game. But two fumbles told the tale, as they each led to a Brookville touchdown.
“For our first game of the season, we came out a little slow. Once we settled in, I was impressed with how our new players stepped in and played even with Brookville,” Derringer said. “Those guys come from a bigger conference and they’re tough. We made way too many mistakes and you can’t do that against a team like Brookville. The worst part was those mistakes were key plays to the outcome of the game. Brookville is always a tough game for us.”
Tri-County North is 0-1 on the season. They will play Friday, Sept. 2, against CCC foe Ansonia, in Lewisburg. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.