Tigers beat Colts for first time in 10 years
For the last 10 years, the Wooster Colts had managed to do everything right when they lined up for a varsity football game with Douglas High.
On Friday night at Keith Roman Field, it was the Tigers’ turn to dominate. Douglas jumped out to a 28-7 lead and then held on for a 28-20 victory.
Not surprisingly, there was plenty of praise to go around after the decade-long losing streak ended.
“I thought, physically, we outplayed them in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams,” Douglas head coach Mike Rippee said.
The Tigers rushed for 215 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown run by Monte McCann and a 35-yard TD run by Andrew Andrews.
Quarterback Luke Rippee scored the first touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run. He also completed three passes for 69 yards without an interception.
“I give all the credit for our offensive success to the linemen,” Rippee said. “We made some big plays skill-wise, but you won’t do it without those guys up front. They played an outstanding game.”
The younger Rippee felt the same way about the play of center Jake Allsip, guards Cal Lewis and Grant Hall, tackles Brandon Shupe and Cheyne Jackson and tight end Tommy Hoyle.
“The line was just tremendous,” Luke Rippee said. “It was like the Denver Broncos. We had about five backs who stepped in there and carried the ball. They all did great. It was just a great game all around, especially the line and the backs.”
McCann finished with 92 yards on 13 carries. Andrews added 55 yards on eight attempts and Dusty Cooper picked up 60 yards on 13 carries, mostly between the tackles.
“I think this win will define our season,” McCann said. “This win is going to bring a lot of confidence.”
McCann did all his damage in the first half. He apparently suffered a mild concussion and was forced to spend the second half on the sideline.
After talking with medical personnel after the game, McCann said he was cleared to play this week at Sparks High.
“They said I’m good to go,” McCann said. “I’ll be playing next Friday.”
Perhaps the most impressive stat of the night was the fact that the Douglas defense limited Wooster to 83 yards on the ground. The Colts managed only three first downs in the first half and had only one in their first five possessions.
“I give credit to (defensive coordinator) Bob Bateman,” coach Rippee said. “He’s worked tremendously hard. I think we put a pretty good scheme together, but schemes don’t win games, players do. The players wanted this one a whole lot. We’ve never held them under 100 yards.”
Steve Wilcox, who coaches the interior linemen, said Chad Linderman, at defensive tackle, and Grant Hall, at nose guard, both had great games. He also said Kevin Jones, Lewis, Shupe and Hoyle did a great job shutting down the C-gap, which was a problem last week against Hug.
The Douglas kicking game was pretty good, too.
Punter Shane Cauley pinned the Colts deep in their own territory all night. He also tossed a perfect pass to Andy McIntosh on a fake punt that resulted in a 54-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.
Rippee said a change in philosophy on kickoff coverage also played a role in the victory. The Tigers kicked the ball deep middle and then counted on wedge-busters, including Lewis, Shupe, Hall and Nathan Bennett, to blow things up down field.
“We pinned them deep all night long and that makes a big difference,” Rippee said. “Our special teams was dominant. I’m real happy with that.”