Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 1, 2013

A cruel finish

Ritter rolls over Tipton in Class 2A state title game

(Continued)

The first turnover came on Tipton's second drive, when Blue Devil QB Austin Hooker was intercepted by Logan Beaman at the Tipton 43. Three plays later, Purichia hit Kyree Hollis for a 47-yard TD strike with 14 seconds left in the first quarter.

The No. 7 Blue Devils (11-4) got on the board two plays from scrimmage later, after Ritter was called for illegal touching on an onside kick, when Hooker rumbled in from 37 yards out at the11:53 mark of the second quarter.

But Tommy Waites returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a TD to put the Raiders (13-2) up 28-6 13 seconds later.

Tipton never recovered as Ritter built a 42-6 lead by the half. Four of the Blue Devils' six second-half drives ended in a lost fumble or interception. The two that didn't ended in a turnover on downs and a punt.

"I'm disappointed for our kids because we were on the big stage, and had a chance to show the entire state how good a football team we were," Tolle said. "But, we weren't able to do it."

Ritter's offense was superb when it was on the field, out-gaining Tipton 424-183. The Raiders were especially solid on third downs, converting 7 of 13 for the game, keeping the Blue Devils' defense on the field for long stretches when they had the ball.

“They’re back-breakers when you’re a defensive coordinator trying to make things happen to benefit your team and you get a team in position like that," Ritter coach Ty Hunt said of the conversion rate. "But, our offensive guys are playmakers. And, we had quite a few of them this year that could make things happen, and it’s tough to guard them all.”

Hooker finished the day 4 of 16 through the air for 15 yards and four interceptions, but was Tipton's leading rusher with 75 yards on 16 carries. Nate Hein added 68 yards on 14 carries.

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