XENIA — The Xenia Buccaneers showed up to honor our nation’s military Friday night Oct. 18, clad in Army National Guard camo jerseys, as they took the field against the Tippecanoe Red Devils.
The school’s “Military Appreciation Night,” in which active duty military members and veterans gained admission to the game free of charge, had something else to celebrate as Xenia took a dominant victory over Tipp. This marks the Bucs’ seventh straight win of their season with a final score of 37-3.
Xenia took the kick, and quickly made headway down the field off the running game of senior Andrew Pollender. In the fourth minute, Pollender scored Xenia’s first touchdown of the night from one yard out. In the second quarter, Tipp was forced to punt to the Bucs nine-yard line. Starting deep in their own territory wasn’t a problem for Pollender, who bulldozed his way to a 75-yard gain on the next play, setting up kicker Hayden Falvey for a 26-yard field goal.
On Xenia’s next possession, junior Kevin Johnson ran around the end for a 40-yard gain to the Tipp 15-yard line. Johnson scored another touchdown for Xenia with less than two minutes left in the half. With less than 30 seconds remaining, senior Chris Jones got a pick-six, returning the interception for a 55-yard touchdown.
Xenia led Tippecanoe 24-0 at halftime.
Tippecanoe senior Ben Sauls put Tippecanoe on the scoreboard with a field goal at the seven-minute mark of the third quarter. At five minutes remaining in the quarter, Pollander scored another touchdown. The extra point, however, bounced off the upright. Xenia wasn’t done, and Isaiah Hoyt nabbed a second interception off of the Tipp quarterback. That drive would end in the final Bucs touchdown of the night, quarterback Brett Russell running it in for the score.
Unofficially, the Bucs gained over 300 yards on possession in the first half alone. Tippecanoe was not able to make nearly as much progress, mainly due to the aggressive Buccaneer defensive line. Linemen Max Senter, Bryce Carr, Gavin Gerhardt, Cade Kadel, EJ Wilson, and their underclassmen compatriots consistently flushed Tipp quarterback Jackson Subler from the pocket, giving him no time to place the ball with his wide receivers.
Xenia’s strong defense will be put to the test as they go up against Troy next week. Both Troy and Xenia hold 7-1 records so far this season. (Troy defeated Fairborn 9-7 on Friday.)
That game, which will be held at Doug Adams Stadium in Xenia, at 7 p.m. on Friday Oct. 25, will determine if the Buccaneers can take the top spot in the Miami Valley League.
Score By Quarters
Tippecanoe 0 0 3 0 — 3
Xenia 7 17 13 0 — 37
London Bishop is a freelance sportswriter for Greene County News.