“Our backs ran hard, our offensive line did a tremendous job and quarterback Cody Howell did a great job running the offense. But we didn’t take very good care of the football.”
Tri-Central lost two fumbles that ended potential scoring drives.
“Our defensive backs played very well,” Gilbert said, pointing to two pass interceptions by Seth Blunck and another theft by Cale Hindman, the latter coming at the TC two-yard line that chilled a likely CC scoring drive.
TC got on the board in the first 1:34 when Dillon Smith went 12 yards in two trips after Cody Colbert had ripped off 32 yards. Tri-Central pushed the lead to 14-0 with 2:25 left in the first act when Garrett Kelley went 41 yards for the first of his two touchdowns.
The lead stretched to 21-0 at 1:18 of the first quarter when Howell hit Jade Pickett over the middle for a 25-yard payoff.
It was here that Clinton Central made its first and only impression when Orr found Petty for that 35-yard score.
All that remained was for Lake Baumiller to nail Orr in the end zone for a safety at 11:51 of the fourth period and Kelley to go two yards for his second TD with 6:47 left in the game to complete the 37-6 final.
Kelley led the Trojans with 143 yards on 21 carries; Smith had 29 yards in eight trips and Colbert had 58 and 12 carries.