TIPTON — Tipton pulled off what no team has been able to accomplish in recent years against Lafayette Central Catholic on Friday night.
The Blue Devils knocked the four-time defending Class A state champions from the postseason for the first time since 2008, pulling out a 28-24 win in a Class 2A Sectional 35 semifinal game played in front of a roaring home crowd.
Tipton (8-3) will visit Delphi, a 40-21 winner over Southmont Friday, in next week’s sectional final. Tipton beat Delphi 38-0 in Week 9 in Hoosier Conference play.
The Knights (9-2) made sure it came down to the final play, going for the win on second-and-goal at the Tipton 5-yard line with :2.4 on the clock. LCC quarterback Ty Preston tossed over his intended receiver’s head in the end zone and the Devil celebration was on.
“The fact that it’s the second round of the sectional would be the only reason that it wouldn’t be right there at the top,” Tipton coach Aaron Tolle said of where the win ranked for him as a coach. “The amount of effort that was expelled on this field by both teams was just phenomenal. I’ve got to give all the credit in the world to our senior kids. They just decided this wasn’t going to be the end [Friday night]. They turned up the heat and we had a couple seniors make great plays at the end.”
The senior duo of wide receiver Nathan Friend and quarterback Austin Hooker hooked up on a pair of fantastic touchdowns with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.
Facing its largest deficit of the game, 24-14, with just under six minutes remaining, Tipton put together a lightning-fast, four-play, 60-yard drive that culminated with Friend’s 22-yard reaching grab on the left side of the endzone. Brody Dell’s conversion run made it 24-22 at 5:09.