Dragons' defense stands tall in 27-14 win at Davenport

Tyler Denton had a big 44 yard touchdown reception to open scoring in TU's 27-14 win.
Tyler Denton had a big 44 yard touchdown reception to open scoring in TU's 27-14 win.

Tiffin University (2-1, 1-0 GLIAC) used a strong pass rush to contain Davenport, posting a 27-14 victory on the road in their conference opener.

Overall the TU defense posted 4 sacks and 11 tackles for loss with an interception and a forced fumble while also holding the Panthers to just 9 of 25 passing. They also allowed just 188 yards of total offense.

The Dragons wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as Tyler Denton caught a Nick Watson pass and scampered downfield for a 44 yard touchdown at the 11:49 mark of the opening quarter, capping an 8 play, 84 yard drive.

Davenport brought the score even at 7-7 at the 14:56 mark of the second quarter on a 7 yard pass, but the Dragons responded immediately. Jalen Santoro hauled in a 22 yard catch and JaQuan Hardy rushed for 17 yards on another play, culminating in a Joseph Metcalf 35 yard field goal just 3 minutes later to make it 10-7 at the 12:04 mark.

TU made the score 17-7 at the half by taking advantage of great field position. After a punt by Harry McCollum pinned DU back on their own 3 yard line, the defense forced a punt that put TU on the DU 36 yard line. After a Hunter Rockwell 35 yard reception, Hardy banged home a TD from 1 yard out to give TU the 10 point lead at intermission.

TU got some defensive points on the board for their next score, as Delan Wynn grabbed a pass from DU and returned it 73 yards down the sideline for a TD with 5:04 left in the third quarter to push TU's lead to 24-7.

The defense continued to make a statement, as Charlie Cleveland sacked DU's quarterback on their next possession, forcing a fumble that Vinny Jones recovered. The possession led to another field goal, this time from 27 yards out at the 1:12 mark to give TU their largest lead at 27-7.

The Panthers answered quickly, staying within striking distance with a 43 yard TD strike with 8 seconds left in the third quarter, but TU's defense refused to break, shutting out the Panthers in the final quarter.

Tiffin totaled 309 yards of offense, with Hardy rushing for 91 yards on 14 carries, averaging 6.5 yards per carry with a TD. Tyler Denton hauled in 7 passes for 96 yards with a TD, while Watson finished 11 of 22 for 170 yards with no interceptions. 

Metcalf added 9 points for TU, hitting 2 field goals and 3 PATs.

Defensively Jacob Mertus had 8 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss, while Cleveland had 7 tackles with 2 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. 

Carrington Contee, Daijohn Isbell and Brandon Burks had 6 tackles apiece, with Burks adding .5 sack and a tackle for loss. Jamar Randolph also had 6 tackles with 1.5 sacks.