TROY — The Troy football team couldn’t recover from a 28-0 halftime deficit against Cincinnati Withrow in a D-II, Region 8 regional semifinal Friday night.
But, the Trojans didn’t go down without a fight, before having their season end at 11-2 with a 42-14 loss to the Tigers.
Withrow improves 11-2 and will play Anderson for the regional title Friday night.
Troy began the battle back after receiving the second half kickoff.
The Trojans marched 70 yards in 12 plays to get on the scoreboard.
Aiden Kirkpatrick sparked the Trojans with a 35-yard scramble to the Tigers 42-yard line.
On a fourth-and-11 from the Withrow 24-yard line, he found Dakota Manson fro a 13-yard gain.
He ran for nine yards down to the two-yard line and Kirkpatrick would score from one-yard out with Cameron Stoltz adding the PAT kick to make it 28-7 with 7:46 remaining in the third quarter.
Following the kickoff, Withrow would drive to the Troy 20-yard line before Aidan Gorman intercepted a pass and returned it 10 yards. Following a face mask penalty, Troy would start its own 45-yard line.
Kirkpatrick converted two first downs running the ball, before throwing to Manson for 16 yards down the Withrow three yard line. He would again run it in from one yard out and following Stoltz’s PAT kick Troy was within 28-14 with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter.
After the Troy defense forced a three-and-out, the Trojans had the ball back with a chance to get within one score.
But, the Trojans went three-and-out and Stoltz’s punt pinned Withrow back at its 12-yard line with 9:14 remaining in the game.
Quarterback Luke Dunn started the drive with a 26-yard pass to Chris Henry Jr. and two plays later the two would hook up on a 38-yard completion.
It took the Tigers just five plays to go the 88 yards, with Dunn throwing to Kristian Bonner for a six-yard TD and Rex Shaffer added the PAT kick to make it 35-14 with 7:46 remaining in the game.
Demetrius Howard would add a 17-yard TD run and Shaffer’s kick would make the final margin 42-14.
The game started with Troy forcing a Withrow punt that was partially blocked by Creighton Verceles.
But, the Trojans couldn’t move the ball and Terhyon Nichols returned the Troy punt 76 yards for a TD with Shaffer adding the PAT kick.
Despite a 65-yard punt by Stoltz on Troy’s next possession that flipped the field, Withrow would go 83 yards in nine plays.
Dunn would hook up with Quintin Simmons for a 24-yard score and Shaffer’s kick made it 14-0 after one quarter.
On the Tigers next possession, they went 60 yards, with Henry Jr. catching a 12-yard pass from Dunn for the score and Shaffer adding the PAT kick.
Withrow drove inside the 10 on its next possession, before Logan Ullery intercepted a pass in the end zone to give the ball back to Troy.
After Troy turned the ball over on downs at its 39-yard line, Withrow covered the distance in two plays.
Dunn found Simmons in the end zone for a 30-yard TD and Shaffer added the PAT.
A Withrow field goal attempt to close the half was just wide, leaving it 28-0 at the break, before Troy battled back.
Kirkpatrick led the Trojans offense.
He rushed for 92 yards on 12 carries and completed six of 10 passes for 81 yards.
Manson had 46 yards rushing on 21 carries and had four receptions for 35 yards. Gorman had a 42-yard reception.
Stoltz averaged 45 yards on five punts.
Kaden Zimmer led the defense with eight tackles and Ullery had seven tackles.
Dunn completed 16 of 29 passes for 269 yards for Withrow.
Henry Jr. caught eight passes for 135 yards, Simmons caught four passes for 82 yards and Bonner had three catches for 43 yards.
Howard led the rushing attack with 154 yards on 14 carries.
Chris Payne led the defense with 10 tackles and Lavarr Jones and Christion Browner had seven tackles each.
SIDNEY — The Tippecanoe football team had its season end in a D-III, Region 12 semifinal at Sidney Memorial Stadium at 30&0 Field.
The Red Devvils trailed 20-6 at halftime and could not recover.
Tipp finishes the season 10-3 and Celina, 11-2, will play Hamilton Badin in the regional title game Friday.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]