TIPP CITY — Tippecanoe kept throwing the ball downfield in a Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division game, and Darren Taborn kept intercepting it.
Taborn came up with three interceptions — including one late in the fourth quarter — to help Sidney earn a 16-10 victory over the Red Devils at Tippecanoe Stadium on Friday. The victory improves the Yellow Jackets to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in GWOC North play.
Taborn had two interceptions in the first half and picked off a pass with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter at Sidney’s 12-yard line. He caught a first-down pass on the Yellow Jackets’ ensuing drive to help them run out the clock.
“I guess they thought I wasn’t any good, because they kept going after me,” Taborn said of picking off deep passes. “You see the result.”
It was the third bounce-back win this season for Sidney a week after a loss. The Yellow Jackets lost by two points to archrival Piqua last week but were able to play through adverse situations and come out with a win against Tippecanoe.
“It feels great,” Taborn said. “It just grows our confidence going into Troy.”
Tippecanoe kicked a field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut Sidney’s lead to six points. After a three-and-out, the Red Devils drove from their own 20 to Sidney territory before Taborn’s interception.
Sidney coach Adam Doenges credited Sidney’s defense for getting four turnovers and for its offense sustaining drives and eating up clock, including on the last drive of the game.
“It’s a great group of kids,” Doenges said. “There was a lot of emotions last week. It was an emotional loss (to Piqua), but I was proud the way we came in on Sunday night to lift. All that negative emotion from the Piqua game was gone. They were ready to turn the page.”
Sidney scored on the opening drive of the second half on a 26-yard field goal by Hallie Truesdale with 6:45 left in the third quarter to boost the lead to 16-7.
The Red Devils responded with a long drive of their own that resulted in a field goal. Ben Sauls hit a 22-yard field goal with 11:18 left in the fourth quarter to cut Sidney’s lead to six points.
After Sidney went three-and-out, Taborn intercepted his third pass of the night with 6:50 left. The Yellow Jackets then drove out the clock. Aside from first-down receptions by Taborn and Lathan Jones, Caleb Harris ate up a lot of clock on runs, in part thanks to solid blocking from the offensive line.
The Red Devils got the ball to start the game, and both they and Sidney punted on their first drives. Taborn intercepted a pass a Sidney’s 22 with 8:22 left in the first quarter to end Tippecanoe’s second drive, then Harris followed with an about 25-yard run that moved the ball to midfield.
Sidney scored a couple of plays later on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Dunham to Josiah Hudgins, which Hudgins caught in stride with one hand to give the Yellow Jackets a 7-0 lead with 7:05 left.
Christian Retterer recovered a fumble near midfield to end Tippecanoe’s next drive, but the Yellow Jackets went three-and-out.
Tippecanoe scored on its next drive when Josh Burritt ran in from six yards out on a third-and-goal to tie it up 7-7 with 9:33 left in the second quarter.
After the teams traded possessions, Sidney scored right before halftime. Two runs by Harris helped Sidney move into the red zone, then Dunham threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Quamir “Philly” Brown with 1:20 left. Truesdale missed the extra point, but Sidney took a 13-7 lead.
Taborn intercepted a deep pass on a flea flicker at Sidney’s 15 with under a minute left. The Yellow Jackets took a knee to run out the rest of the first-half clock.
The Yellow Jackets will continue GWOC North play next week when they travel to Troy, which beat Butler 25-0 on Friday to improve to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in divisional play.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.