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Tri spoils Wes-Del's Homecoming

By JIM JEFFRIES - For The Courier-Times

GASTON — After last week’s win over Lincoln, Tri High School football Head Coach Andrew Totheroh was disappointed in his team’s offensive line. After the Titans beat host Wes-Del 22-14 Saturday night, he was all smiles when asked about the same group of guys.

“We harped on them all week,” said Coach Totheroh. “These guys are young, but continue to improve. With more reps, they are gaining more confidence.”

On the first drive of the game, the offensive line opened up several holes for running back Vade Dishman, as he ran the ball five straight possessions for 46 yards. Quarterback Syrus Butler eventually punched the ball into the end zone from two yards out, followed by a Dishman two-point run. This gave Tri an 8-0 lead with 8:26 left in the first quarter.

Dishman, the area’s leading rusher, led the Titan running game with 31 rushes for 129 yards.

Fourteen seconds later, Wes-Del tied the game with a 66-yard run by Bill Pittsford. Quarterback Mason Whitted ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-8 tie.

Pittsford gained 66 yards on his first run, but ran for only 26 yards the rest of the game.

On their next possession, the Warriors put together a nine-play, 78-yard scoring drive, which culminated in a 14-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Jake Sutton. Wes-Del failed to complete the two-point pass. With five seconds left in the first quarter, Wes-Del led Tri 14-8.

A couple of possessions later, Tri trudged the ball down the field with several runs by Dishman. At midfield, he was stopped up the middle, but he broke out to the right side for a 17-yard run.

Four plays later, the Titans threw an incomplete pass on fourth down. Wes-Del was called for pass interference, which kept the ball with Tri. The Titans capitalized with a touchdown pass from Syrus Butler to Luke Hill with under five seconds left in the half. Jordan Raley was successful on the two-point run. This gave Tri a halftime lead of 16-14.

Coach Totheroh talked about Jordan Raley.

“He’s had a couple of fumbles lately,” Totheroh explained. “We’ve worked with him, and he’s learning from his mistakes. He is an excellent blocker. We were excited for him to run the two-point conversion.”

In the second half, both defenses stepped up, especially the Titan defensive unit. The first time Wes-Del had the ball, it punted from its 15-yard line, and the ball traveled only to the 24-yard line. Tri had great field position.

However, the Titans moved the ball only four yards, turned the ball over on downs, and the Warriors took over on the 21-yard line. After a negative run, a sack, and a run of zero yards, the Warriors were forced to punt.

Tri’s Dennis Trosper blocked the punt, which was recovered by Christian Harding in the end zone for another Titan score. Tri failed on the two-point conversion, but took a 22-14 lead with 4:55 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Wes-Del returned a punt to midfield. It moved the ball to the Tri 27-yard line. But Titan defensive leader Logan Stephens came up with a big interception to thwart the Warrior drive.

With around three minutes left in the game, Wes-Del got the ball at midfield once again. The Titan defense came up big again. The Warriors ran the ball with Sutton on three straight plays. He gained six yards on the first play. However, Dennis Trosper dropped Sutton for a one-yard loss on the next play. On fourth down, Logan Stephens stopped Sutton for no gain.

“I got off to a slow start tonight, but finally started reading my keys and got going,” said senior defensive captain Logan Stephens. “I hurt my ankle again in the second quarter, but I really got going after the interception. As a team, we fought hard. We have lots of pride. I think this was a great team win.”

Stephens led the Titan defense with five tackles, 10 assists, an interception, and a fumble caused. Trosper added three tackles, six assists, a fumble recovery, and a blocked punt.

Tri improved to 2-2 on the season, while Wes-Del dropped to 0-4. The Titans have a tough matchup Friday at Dennis Gipe Field as they will take on conference foe Centerville.

Tri 22, Wes-Del 14

TRI 8 8 6 0 - 22

WES-DEL 14 0 0 0 - 14

Tri - Butler 2-yard run (Dishman run)

Wes-Del - Bill Pittsford 66-yard run (Whitted run)

Wes-Del - Sutton 14-yard run (pass failed)

Tri - Hill pass from Butler (Raley run)

Tri - Harding blocked punt recovery (run failed)

T WD

First downs 12 9

Rushes/yards 41-156 38-241

Yards passing 50 17

Passes 3-5-0 2-5-1

Punts 3 3

Fumbles lost 1 0

Penalties/yards 8-75 10-98

Individual Leaders

Rushing

Tri: Dishman 31-129, Butler 8-18; Wes-Del: Sutton 12-106, Pittsford 14-92, Whitted 9-21.

Passing

Tri: Butler 3-5-0, 50; Wes-Del: Whitted 2-5-1, 17.

Receiving

Tri: Hill 2-46, Dishman 1-4; Wes-Del: Sutton 1-17.

Records: Tri 2-2, Wes-Del 0-4.