Football Spartans Bounce the Tigers from Playoffs

Posted on: October 19, 2020

Additional camera news trucks and the Department of Health, social-distancing police ratcheted up the pressure for playoff game #1 vs. Withrow on Friday night. The season debut of the gold jerseys also added another wrinkle, as the Spartans apparently exhausted extra pregame energy squeezing their torsos into those undersized constrictors. All this adversity resulted in very little first half scoring, but a productive (and likely spirited) half time discussion from the coaching staff propelled Turpin to a 23-6 survive-and-advance playoff win over the Withrow Tigers.


After the bye week and a slow start, the Spartan offensive engine eventually shifted into high gear and churned out over 360 yards of total offense. The offensive line led by seniors Gabe Hickman and Max Kline tamed the Tiger front seven and allowed Kaidan Naughton to scamper for 183 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. Junior Jack “Gronk” Feltman hauled in a key red zone touchdown reception to keep the Tigers safely distanced on the scoreboard, and Max Gundrum grabbed 5 receptions for 63 yards as well. On the defensive side, Will Myres chased down the Tiger quarterback’s tail for two sacks, and Ben Cushman and Trey Carpenter each added key sacks, and linebacker Will Guy caused disruption sideline to sideline all night long. The game fittingly ended with the Spartan defense collectively caging the Tigers in their own endzone for the coveted safety.


McCullough’s 2 Minute Drill:

What were your 2-3 most positive takeaways this week?

Coach McCullough: “When it comes to playoff games, none of them are easy. You are going to get the other team's very best effort. I liked how the team battled when we were not playing our best. They kept playing hard and found ways to win a home playoff game.”


What is the most important way the Spartans get better for next week?

Coach McCullough: “We need to bring our "A" game versus a very good Kings team!”


Each advancement in the playoff bracket results in a new mountain to climb, and the Spartans will gather up their artillery and invade the hostile Kings Knights’ castle on Friday night. Kings almost dropped a hundred on our Anderson Redskin friends earlier this season, so the Spartan defense will surely be tested early and often. Adjustments, continued improvement, and laser-focused preparation fuel a deep playoff run with a one-game-at-a-time mindset each week. Friday’s collision of these two ECC behemoths should certainly rumble the local airwaves, and kickoff cannot get here soon enough.


COVID-19 continues to lurk and pounce, so keep wearing those masks and maintain your social distancing. Nothing works unless the linemen do, and Go Spartans!