Turnovers cost Dragons in 28-13 loss to Oilers

The Dragons came up short in a 28-13 loss to the Oilers.
The Dragons came up short in a 28-13 loss to the Oilers.

Turnovers proved costly for Tiffin University in their season-opening matchup with Findlay, as three second half turnovers killed TU's offensive attack and led to a 28-13 loss to the Oilers.

Things started well for the Dragons, as they forced a fumble on Findlay's opening drive to take over and then scored on their opening drive. Nick Watson hit Da'Von Johnson on a 12 yard pass, while Kyle Brunson followed with a 19 yard run and Watson then scrambled for a 41 yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 TU at 9:20 of the opening quarter.

Tiffin got a 25 yard field goal from Joseph Metcalf on their second drive, driving 82 yards for the score. The drive was highlighted by Hunter Rockwell's 36 yard run, as TU went ahead 10-0 as the quarter ended.

The Oilers started to turn things around in the second quarter, resorting to a punishing ground game to tally 21 points in the second quarter to lead 21-10 at halftime.

The Oilers took advantage of great field position at the TU 45 on their second drive of the quarter, leading to a score on a 6 yard run by Daouda Sylla to get Findlay on the board 10-7.

They then took advantage of a shanked punt by TU to get good field position on the Findlay 44. Following a big 38 yard pass completion to Jason Moore, Sylla scored from 8 yards out to put the Oilers ahead 14-10.

On Findlay's final drive of the half, the rushing continued, as the Oilers totaled 51 yards on the ground and capped it off with a 21 yard touchdown pass from Rhys Gervais to Airion Kosak to make it 21-10 at the break.

The Dragons offense struggled following their first quarter field goal, as they managed just 1 first down over the final 17 minutes of the half.

The Dragons looked to right the ship in the second half, but a fumble killed their opening drive after just three plays. The Dragons managed to drive to the Findlay 31 on their next drive but a mishandled snap on a field goal attempt led to another drive coming up short on the scoreboard. Another fumble halted TU's next drive, but the Dragons still battled, trailing by just 11 points with a quarter to play.

Findlay was able to put the game away in the final period. Tiffin bounced back after throwing an interception in their first drive of the fourth quarter by getting a 41 yard field goal from Metcalf to make it 21-13 with 3:26 to play, but the Dragons defense could not contain the Oilers rushing game, as Chauncey Bridges busted out on a 52 yard run that took the Dragons out of it. Three plays later Sylla scored to make it 28-13.

Findlay's ground game was simply too much for Tiffin, as they racked up 337 yards on the ground en route to 483 yards of offense. The punishing attack averaged 7 yards per carry and kept the clock moving. Findlay totaled 16 of their 26 first downs on the ground.

The Dragons were led by Jaquan Hardy's 69 yards rushing, while Nick Watson connected on 22 of 37 passes for 194 yards. He also had an interception with 3 sacks.

Charles Holland led the receivers with 72 yards on 8 catches, while Tony Shead also had 52 yards on 4 receptions. 

Jacob Mertus led the defense with 9 tackles, while Brandon Burks had 8 stops with an interception. Carrington Contee and Daijohn Isbell also had 6 tackles apiece.