SIDNEY — Bellbrook made the second meeting with Tippecanoe less dramatic than the first.
The Golden Eagles scored on four straight possessions after halftime and advanced in the Division III playoffs with a 38-7 win on Friday at Sidney High School.
Tipp came into the game averaging 34 points, but found things to be a bit tougher against the Golden Eagles which had won the first time the two teams played in week one 24-14.
“They played excellent in game one against these guys, but we felt going into the week we had a really good feel for what they wanted to accomplish offensively,” head coach Jeff Jenkins said. “The staff did a tremendous job and the players put in the work, they were in the right places at the right times.”
Tipp’s only touchdown of the game came off a Bellbrook turnover in its own territory late in the first half.
“I thought everyone played very well,” senior Gavyn Bunsold said. “We played to the best of our ability, championship caliber. We did our job and did it well.”
Bellbrook took a 10-7 lead into halftime as rain turning to snow along with fierce winds made playing conditions rough in the first half. Its defense forced a three-and-out to open the second half and Tipp was unable to handle the snap on the ensuing punt attempt. The Golden Eagles took advantage of a short field position and capped off the drive with a Seth Borondy TD to go up 17-7.
After a holding call on a punt return back the team up on its next possession, it only provided Ashton Ault more room to run as he ran 87 yards to the end zone while dashing between defenders to extend the lead.
The defense continued to not let Tipp get more than a few yards across midfield as Bellbrook continued scoring into the fourth.
Ault caught 24-yard pass from Luke Benetis, and Nick Etienne added the final score with 7:10 to go.
“I can’t tell you how much we respect Tipp and how much that drove us this week to prepare,” Jenkins said. “We pride ourselves on being one of the hardest working teams in the state.”
Borondy broke the school record for rushing yards in a season with a 42-yard carry on the first play from scrimmage.
The drive ended with a touchdown run by Etienne for a 7-0 lead less than three minutes in.
Benetis for the second straight week helped set up points in the final seconds of the first half. He threw a 32-yard pass to Carson Labensky down to Tipp’s 12. It set up a 31-yard field goal by Connor Peh into the wind with plenty of leg to head into the break.
Bellbrook advances to the regional final round for the first time since 2001. The Golden Eagles will play No. 1 Hamilton Badin, which won 45-10 on Friday against St. Mary’s Memorial, in the Region 12 final at a location to be determined.
“That’s going to be a heck of a game,” Jenkins said. “We loaded up our preseason schedule to get ready for playoffs and we just so happen are running into our week one and two opponents in week three and four of the playoffs.”