TIPP CITY — It was expected to be the game of the season.
And it was exactly that.
The Tippecanoe and Troy football teams went toe-to-toe for four quarters with first place in the MVL on the line Friday night, before Tippecanoe held on for a 13-12 win in.
With Vandalia-Butler knocking off Xenia, the Red Devils are atop the MVL with a record of 4-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Tipp will travel to Butler Friday night.
Troy, 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the MVL, will host Piqua Friday night.
Logan Ullery’s second interception of the game had given Troy the ball back at its own 20 with 5:09 remaining, trailing 13-12.
Two Jahari Ward runs had put the Trojans in third-and-two, but an incomplete pass forced a punt.
Tipp took over at its own 46 with 3:56 remaining and was able to run the clock out.
Cael Liette had runs of 17 and 14 yards on the drive, the second one from the 15-yard line.
He appeared to be heading into the end zone, but took a knee at the one so the Red Devils could run out the clock.
After Troy got back up near the end zone on its opening drive of the game, Tipp took over at the Troy 22 following a punt.
On third-and-goal from the three-yard line, Ullery intercepted a pass at the one-yard line.
Troy picked up several first downs before Tippecanoe’s Maddox Sivon intercepted a pass and returned it to the Troy 11-yard line.
The Troy defense held and the Trojans blocked the field goal, keeping the game scoreless.
The Trojans were again pinned back, but on second and 15 Aidan Gorman had a 16-yard run out to the 27-yard line.
On third-and-six from the 31, quarterback Aiden Kirkpatrick found a wide open Johnathan Dilbone across the middle for a 69-yard TD pass to make it 6-0 with 19.6 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Tipp blocked the PAT, then went 66 yards in seven plays.
The big play in the drive was a 51-yard pass from Peyton Schultz to Evan Liette.
Cael Liette ran it in from two yards out and CJ Bailey kicked the PAT to put Tipp up 7-6 with 10:08 remaining in the half.
It stayed that way until halftime.
Tipp’s opening drive of the second half went deep into Troy territory, but Creighton Verceles intercepted a pass at the two-yard line to give the ball back to Troy.
The Trojans had to punt, with Tipp taking over at the Troy 40.
Schultz threw 14 yards to Jackson Davis to convert a first down and the two hooked up again on the next play for a 22-yard touchdown.
The PAT was blocked and Tipp led 13-6 with 4:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Troy then answered with an 80-yard drive.
Devin Strobel caught a 33-yard pass from Kirkpatrick on the drive and on the first play of the fourth quarter, Ward would run it in from six yards out. Troy tried to run it in on two-point PAT, but Tipp made the stop to hold onto a 13-12 lead with 11:56 remaining in the game.
On Tipp’s next possession, Caleb Akins intercepted a pass at the Tipp 44, but Troy couldn’t move the ball.
Ullery’s interception to give Troy another chance came on the next possession, before the Tipp defense stopped the Trojans and Tipp would run out the clock for the win.
For Tipp, Schultz completed 15 of 24 passes for 211 yards.
Evan Liette had eight catches for 125 yards and Davis had three catches for 47 yards.
Cael Liette had 92 yards rushing on 16 carries and led the defense with 12 tackles.
Lucas Merry had nine tackles and Trace Trent had eight tackles.
For Troy, Kirkpatrick completed five of nine passes for 105 yards.
Ward had 132 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Kaden Zimmer led the defense with nine tackles and Verceles had eight.
Cam’ron Couch had seven tackles and Ullery and Antonio Gonzalez had seven tackles each.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]