TIPTON — Tipton’s football team looked vulnerable for a few minutes Friday night. Just a few. Then never again.
The Blue Devils crushed Oak Hill 56-2 to win their Class 2A regional game and set up a rematch with Hoosier Conference rival Rensselaer Central next Friday in the northern semistate.
Oak Hill marched down field after the opening kickoff and got three first downs before stalling out at the Tipton 22. A field-goal attempt went wide and Tipton took over on its own 20.
That’s when the game turned.
Nate Hein took a handoff on Tipton’s opening play from scrimmage and exploded through a hole on the right side. An Oak Hill defender dove at his feet and came up short and injured (key running back Zach Daniels, who didn’t return). Another defender coudln’t maintain the chase as Hein tore upfield for the game’s opening score.
“Obviously, they saw something and took advantage of it right away,” OH coach Bud Ozmun said. “All I know is, it’s a backbreaker right off the bat.”
Tipton stopped Oak Hill without a first down in the Eagles’ next drive and pinned Tipton at its own 9 with a huge punt.
Tipton turned to Hein again, and again gave him all the space he’d need, as he exploded through a hole on the left and ripped 91 yards to pay dirt.
Tipton led 14-0 on two plays.
“I saw everybody blocking,” Hein said of his first two runs, which amounted to sprints with little or no contact from the Oak Hill defense. “I ran the ball, I might have gotten all the yards, I might have scored, but that was an offensive line and our wide receivers’ touchdown. There’s no way I would have done any of that if they wouldn’t have blocked.