By Ryan Berry
PIQUA — The Ansonia Tiger Football Team’s season came to end on Friday night after an incredible run in the tournament where they finished as the regional runner-up to Marion Local. The Flyers won 48-0.
The Tigers kept the Flyers’ offense off the field for almost the entire first quarter. They held the ball for 11 minutes. The Tigers caught a break early in the drive when they were forced to punt. The punt was partially blocked, but the ball went forward and Ansonia was able to recover and get enough yards for a first down. Unfortunately, that drive stalled inside Marion Local’s territory. Forty-five seconds into the Flyers first drive Ansonia was able to create a turnover with an interception and finished out the remaining 15 minutes on offense.
Ansonia’s defense was able to stymie the Flyers’ offense for most of the first half. Marion was finally able to get on the scoreboard, but the usually dominate former state champions were only up 7-0 at halftime.
The second half proved too much for the Tigers to handle. The Flyers were able to take the opening kickoff back 55 yards to the Tiger 10 yard line. A couple of plays later and it was a 14-0 game.
Ansonia’s offense couldn’t get going in the second half and saw a lot of three and outs. On the drive after the first score in the second half, Ansonia was forced to punt. The snap went over the head of Keegan Weiss and into the end zone. He picked it up and tried to punt, but the punt was blocked and Marion Local recovered it in the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
The Flyers proved why they are favored to win another state championship again this year and dominated the second half.
Coach Adam Hall said he told his team that this would sting for a little while, but they need to keep their heads up because of the great season they had. “We have 12 seniors that did a great job being good leaders for us all year long. I’ve said it a thousand times. You can’t say it enough. Our seniors are great football players, they’re hard workers, they’re great kids and you can’t say what they mean to our program; how much I appreciate them as a coach,” said Hall. He added that his seniors make coaching easy.
Hall said he is proud of the effort his team showed throughout the season and how they got better each week. He went on to praise his coaches and the school district. “I have great assistant coaches that make my life easy, our athletic boosters, our administration, our fans have been great all year. It’s been a great year and there’s lots to be proud of. I know that it stings now, but the further we get away from this…We have a lot to look back on and be proud of this year.”
He would like for his underclassmen to realize they can keep this program where it is and move it forward by following the example of the seniors. “You can’t just wait to be a senior and hope it happens. Our seniors went out, they decided in January this is what we wanted to do and we worked towards it. Now our young guys know that they can follow the example these seniors set and make that happen. It something we can do year in and year out if we’re working towards it.
To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].