Spartans’ Early Season Challenges Continue at Little Miami

Posted on: September 6, 2022

Looking to rebound from their slow start, Turpin took the long bus ride north to Little Miami Friday to try and reset their season. The Spartans came with a modified lineup moving Clark Helgason to running back and starting sophomore quarterback Devan Nigam. With a relatively thin roster, the Spartans came into the game missing four starters due to various injuries, including both cornerbacks.

The challenges in the defensive backfield showed early with Little Miami sustaining a long drive that culminated with a 22 yard touchdown pass and an immediate 7-0 lead. It took a while for the Spartan offensive to settle in, but after an exchange of punts, Turpin produced a solid drive that ended on a Helgason 32 yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. The point after attempt was wide left, making the score 7-6. The Panthers struck back on a 50 yard TD pass play, extending their lead to 14-6 after the successful conversion. The Spartans showed life with their new lineup, driving the ball down the field with a balanced attack. The momentum took a negative turn when the Spartans could not punch the ball in on 4th and goal from the 2. Little Miami took over at the 2 and drove down the field looking to extend their lead, but a Zane Plattner strip sack/Louie Schneider fumble recovery effectively ended the first half at 14-6. The first half was very competitive and the lineup changes certainly produced competitive hope on the Turpin side.

Turpin took the 2nd half kickoff and assembled a strong drive to the Little Miami 20. Looking to throw a bubble screen to Heglason, Little Miami read and played the play perfectly which resulted in an 80 yard pick six and a 21-7 lead. Turpin had a quick 3 and out on the next series and Little Miami effectively ended the game on a short pass and broken tackle 52 yard touchdown pass play, pressing the lead to 28-6. Turpin had a chance to score late in the 3rd, after the Panther punter dropped to a knee on a bad punt snap giving the Spartans great field position.  However, Turpin could not move the ball and had to settle for an unsuccessful field goal attempt.

Early in the 4th, Turpin showed life with a couple of crafty catch and runs by George Machenheimer and Mickey Abbatiello, but a couple of penalties and a late interception ended Turpin’s scoring opportunities. Little Miami’s final score came on a 15 yard TD run late in the 4th. By then both teams were struggling with cramping issues, as it was a hot humid night in Morrow.

The Spartans played hard, but continue to struggle with penalties, missed assignments and missed tackles. This week produces another difficult test as the Spartans travel to face Winton Woods, currently ranked 2nd in the city. See you at Winton Woods on Friday at 7pm.