BY MICHELLE GARMON FOR THE KOKOMO TRIBUNE
---- — DELPHI — The Tipton Blue Devils did something Friday night, they hadn’t done in four years. They recorded a shutout.
Class 2A No.8-ranked Tipton (6-3) closed out the regular season with a 38-0 Hoosier Conference romp over Delphi. Ironically, the Blue Devils’ last shutout came four years ago at Delphi, 49-0.
“Shutout’s great,” Tipton coach Aaron Tolle said. “It’s the first one we’ve had in four years, I think but again we challenged our kids at halftime. We made too many mistakes in the first half. We had three turnovers; two of them were in the red zone. You can’t do those things over the next three weeks or there won’t be a next three weeks, so we’ve got to get those things cleaned up. Hopefully, we got them out of the way.”
Those three turnovers were the only thing that prevented the Blue Devils from scoring practically every time they took possession of the ball. All three turnovers — two fumbles and an interception — came in the first half. Despite those mistakes, the Devils owned a 17-0 lead.
Tipton utilized a balanced attack. Senior Nate Hein carried the ball 19 times for 152 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a 20-yard TD pass from Austin Hooker. Hooker was 10-of-23 for 115 yards and a TD. He also rushed 11 times for 74 yards and 2 TDs.
Brody Dell finished with eight carries for 47 yards and a TD. Jake Devendorf caught six passes for 52 yards and had a six-yard run. Nate Friend had three receptions for 43 yards.
Tipton got the ball first and starting at its own 35 marched down to the Delphi 14 before Hooker bobbled the ball on a handoff attempt to Hein and Delphi’s Andrew Rowland recovered at the 15. Two plays later, Tipton stripped Clint Rude of the football and senior tackle Luke Shively picked the fumble up and returned it seven yards to the Oracle 10.
Hooker rushed for nine yards and then handed off to Dell, who went the final yard for a Tipton TD and the Blue Devils led 7-0 at the 9:06 mark of the first quarter.
On its next possession, Tipton put together an eight-play drive that culminated with Tragesser’s 27-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0 with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter.
Tipton’s third possession began at the Delphi 49. The Devils needed just four plays to reach the end zone, with Hooker finding Hein on a short swing pass. Hein did the rest, weaving his way 20 yards to the end zone and a 17-0 Tipton lead at the 11:48 mark of the second quarter. That score stood until halftime.
On Tipton’s first offensive possession after the break, Hooker scored on a one-yard QB keeper to extend the lead to 24-0 with 5:47 remaining in the third period.
The next time they got the ball, the Blue Devils marched 83 yards in 14 plays. Hooker capped the drive with an eight-yard TD run that upped the lead to 31-0 with 9:05 left to play in the game.
On a Delphi punt play, Delphi punter Garrett Johnson danced around in the backfield, took off to the right and slipped and fell at his own 15. Three plays later, Hein ran in from the 2 to push the lead to 38-0 with 6:36 left to play.