Football Spartans Climb all over Rocks

Posted on: August 31, 2021
Friday Night Football

Within climate-controlled vessels laden with technology, your Turpin Spartans embarked on a business trip north last Friday for a showdown with perennial D1 powerhouse, Dublin Coffman. First year Dublin head coach Geron Stokes surely felt his seat temperature warming already, following a 22 point opening week loss to the Warsaw (Indiana) Tigers. However, a questionable and SLOW bus route out of Turpin Township served as the only hiccup of the evening for Turpin, as the Spartans invaded Coffman Stadium, dominated, and blasted the Rocks, 35-7.

Driving farther away from the equator normally means cooler temperatures await, but Dublin, Ohio felt more like Dillon, Texas with a visiting bench and stands strategically facing due west in late August. The Spartan faithful initially planned to occupy seats in the shaded comforts on the home sideline. Thankfully, the wiser majority prevailed, and Spartan fans collectively braved the ultraviolet bath once again in a spirited display of mental toughness to help fuel their beloved footballers.

 Dublin possessed the pigskin first with a methodical 6+ minute opening drive scripted with a healthy mix of passes and runs. A 4th and 6 conversion on the Turpin 26-yard line then catapulted the Rocks into the end zone for an opening statement 7-0 lead. Turpin’s first drive was NOT as planned, as a holding penalty and an early sack allowed by the Big Uglies resulted in a 3-and-out punt. After this point though, even the most famous Rock ever, Dwayne Johnson, could not have prevented the remaining evening’s avalanche of Turpin touchdowns.

 Dropping 35 points and 450 yards of total offense on the road at Dublin Coffman is never easy, except when you deploy offensive weapons named Schulok, McDole, and Alcalde. Huge games by all three included Will Schulok’s Brady-like stat line of 20/23 passing for 302 yards, with 11 of those connections to player of the week nominee Ryan Mcdole for 218 yards and all 3 passing touchdowns. Spartan fans take note; it’s never IF McDole will break a big play, it’s only a matter of WHEN. Keenan Alcalde scooted for 118 yards and one score behind another dominating performance by his Big Ugly O-line friends.

 Scoring points in bunches obviously fills the Twitter highlight feeds, but the Spartan defense enjoyed crushing the Rocks’ offensive formations all night long. Senior linebacker Trey Carpenter rolled through the Dublin offense with 7 tackles and 2 sacks while defensive backs Drew Covington and Grady Abbatiello each recorded 7 tackles of their own. Limiting a D1 power to a single digit on their own scoreboard defines success within any football game plan, and the Spartan Shield certainly covered over the Rock offense.

 The special teams were steady once again, as rookie punter Reed Rosebraugh continued booming huge punts at critical times, and rookie placekicker Robbie Carson nailed his first varsity field goal from 33 yards out.


McCullough’s 2 Minute Drill:

Going into the game, what did you see as Dublin’s biggest strengths, and how did you neutralize them?

Coach McCullough: We felt like their biggest strength was the offensive & defensive lines. Offensively, we controlled the line of scrimmage by mixing up the run game and quick pass game. We did a good job of keeping them off balance. Anytime they started to load the box to stop the run, we would throw quick game or a screen to outside. If they played off to stop the quick game, we would run it right at them. The Offensive line controlled the game and that's what we needed from them to win the game. Defensively, besides the first drive, we did a great job of stopping the run and forcing them to pass. Their quarterback was a very good player but we knew he didn't handle pressure well so we attacked him when they were forced to pass. Then the defensive line and linebackers played downhill all night controlling the quarterback and their run game.


What key message did you preach to keep the boys confident and not intimidated by the Rocks’ huge campus atmosphere on the road?

Coach McCullough: The boys are a pretty confident group to begin with so I didn't need to say much but I tried to keep them focused on doing their job every single play for the team. I told them during the week that this is a resume game. A game that was going to show the entire tri-state and maybe the state how good of a team we have this year. I was very pleased with the way the boys handled the trip and how well they played!

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

Coach McCullough: To not get lazy with our preparation for Loveland. I preach about respecting the process every week with having great lifts, quality film work, rest and taking care of their bodies, and fast, high energy practices. We will be tested this week with coming off the high of a big program against Dublin Coffman. It's a big week for the seniors to step up and show their leadership with this team. 

 This week begins the ECC gauntlet, as a streak of Tigers plan to escape their Loveland cages and attack Spartan Stadium this Friday evening. Two early season losses to Princeton and Sycamore certainly means an ambush of starving and humble Tigers will arrive on their yellow, hot buses. Kickoff is the normal 7pm, and great seats are still available on all major ticket outlet apps and websites.


Nothing works unless the linemen do and Go Spartans!