TIPP CITY — Sidney played well in the middle of a Miami Valley League crossover game against Tippecanoe on Friday. The beginning and ending didn’t go as well.
The Yellow Jackets gave up two early touchdowns before a lightning storm delayed the contest two hours, then gave up three TDs in the fourth quarter in a 45-7 loss at Tipp City Park.
“We’ve just got to be more consistent across the board,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “We’ve got to find 11 guys who can do the right thing at the same time, on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Until we can do that, we’ll still be on (the losing) end. Hopefully, we’ll pick ourselves back up this week and be ready for our first home game.”
Sidney (0-2, 0-1 MVL Valley) is scheduled to host Greenville at 7 p.m. on Friday. Aside from the squads playing for the Little Brown Jug, Friday’s game will also serve as the 50th reunion for the undefeated Sidney teams of 1968, 69 and 70. The “30 and 0” reunion was pushed back one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s still a lot to play for,” Doenges said. “It’s not the start any of us envisioned, and hopefully we’ll pick ourselves back up.”
The Red Devils scored two touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. They were preparing to kick off after their second TD when lightning was spotted and the game was delayed.
Play resumed at about 9:30 p.m., and Sidney found life.
After both squads each went three-and-out, the Yellow Jackets were facing a third down deep in their own territory. Senior quarterback Donavin Johnson threw a short pass to freshman receiver Julius Spradling, who dropped the ball.
But Spradling was able to pick the ball up, and he turned on the engines, outracing all defenders 71 yards for a touchdown with 7:09 left in the second quarter to cut the gap to 14-7.
“He’s got some big-play potential, and he can do some things with his feet,” Doenges said.
Tippecanoe went three-and-out on its next drive, and Sidney took over near midfield. The Yellow Jackets drove a bit but stalled just inside the red zone. Carson Taylor missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt with just under four minutes left, and Tipp took over on downs.
The Red Devils methodically drove the length of the field on a variety of passes and scored when Liam Poronsky threw an 11-yard TD pass to Jason Rindler with 27 seconds left to boost the lead to 21-7.
The Yellow Jackets quickly drove down on a deep pass when E.J. Davis wrestled the ball away from Rindler, who initially intercepted it. Sidney opted to kick a field goal on first down with five seconds left, and Taylor’s attempt soared wide left.
“Anytime we seemed like we got some traction, we did some things to not help ourselves, and they also did some things to kind of stop our momentum,” Doenges added. “They’re a well-coached team. They’re a good football team. We couldn’t get any traction going there sometimes.”
Sidney mostly contained the Red Devils in the third quarter; Jackson Kleather hit a 32-yard field goal with 3:26 left in the third to push the lead to 24-7.
But Rindler made an interception in Sidney territory with 1:30 left, and Cayd Everhart scored on a 31-yard TD with 11:33 left in the fourth to push the lead to 31-7.
Griffin Caldwell scored on a 38-yard TD run with 6:51 left to increase the lead to 38-7, and Xavier Jones scored on an 11-yard TD run in the final seconds of the game to grow the final gap to 38 points.
Tippecanoe had 370 yards of offense, 292 of which came on the ground. The Yellow Jackets had 206 yards of offense, 155 of which came through the air.
Johnson completed 15-of-22 passes for 155 yards and rushed for 28 yards on 11 carries. Spradling finished with 94 receiving yards on five catches and ran for 29 yards on 11 carries.
Everhart scored on a 19-yard TD with 6:10 left in the first quarter. The Yellow Jackets went three-and-out, and a punt attempt went awry, resulting in the Red Devils taking over at Sidney’s 15-yard line. Zach Butera scored on a 10-yard TD run with 3:32 left to push the lead to 14-0.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.