Dragons' offense thrives in 45-7 win over Battlers

Patrick Tueimeh returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown in the Dragons' 45-7 win over Alderson Broaddus.
Patrick Tueimeh returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown in the Dragons' 45-7 win over Alderson Broaddus.

Tiffin University (6-1, 4-0 GMAC) had a wealth of offensive weapons in their 45-7 victory over visiting Alderson Broaddus.

The Dragons put together a punishing attack against the Battlers, accounting for 636 yards of total offense in the win. It was the fourth highest total in school history, and also featured 390 yards rushing as three Dragons rushed for more than 90 yards.

TU, which scored in every quarter, took its time getting on the scoreboard. The Dragons opening drive took them down to the AB 6 yard line but the Dragons failed to get points. Two possessions later, Nick Watson hit Devin Butler on a 93 yard TD pass for the second longest passing touchdown in TU history as TU scored at the 5:51 mark to lead 7-0.

After Tiffin's defense forced another change of possession, the Dragons got another TD at the end of the quarter. Watson connected with Butler again for a big 27 yard pass play, setting up a 13 yard touchdown throw to Spencer Moyer at the 2:45 mark to lead 14-0 after one quarter.

After the Battlers responded with a 71 yard TD drive to start the second quarter, TU responded immediately with their own 81 yard drive. Kyle Brunson rushed for 46 yards on 5 carries before JaQuan Hardy bashed through for 24 yards for another score with 8:46 left in the half to put TU ahead 21-7.

Tiffin had already totaled 365 yards of offense by halftime but had also allowed 190 yards to the Battlers, including 128 through the air. The Dragons entered the second half looking to put AB away by tightening the defense and continuing the offensive onslaught.

The Dragons' defense responded, allowing just 81 yards of total offense over the remainder of the game, including just 33 yards through the air. Charlie Cleveland and Johnny Rupp both had big sacks, Jermaine Wimpye had an interception with an 18 yard return, and Patrick Tueimeh picked up a fumble forced by Chrystian Watkins and returned it 57 yards for the final score of the game as the defense made a big second half statement.

Offensively the Dragons took their first possession of the second half and scored in just 32 seconds, as Hardy followed a 13 yard run with a 53 yard TD rush for his second of three scores on the day to make it 28-7.

Hardy's third score came later in the third quarter, as he and Watson rushed for 53 of TU's 59 yards on the drive before Hardy ran in from 16 yards out to make it 35-7 with 4:04 to play in the third.

Tiffin's other points in the game came at the start of the fourth quarter when A.J. Nickoli booted a 35 yard field goal. Nickoli accounted for 9 points on the day, also going 6-for-6 on PAT attempts.

Overall Hardy rushed for 138 yards on 15 carries (9.2 per rush) along with 15 yards receiving, while Brunson had 120 yards on 15 carries (8.0 per rush). Watson also had 91 yards on 10 carries (9.1 per rush).

Watson also passed for 246 yards on 14 of 25 completions with 2 touchdowns, with Butler being the prime beneficiary with 127 yards on 4 catches. Marcus Whitfield also had 75 yards on 4 catches.

David Orlando also had a solid day punting for TU, averaging 44.7 yards per kick on three punts. Butler also added 42 yards in kick returns to give him 169 all-purpose yards.

Watkins led the defense with 7 tackles and a forced fumble, while Kevin Hyde had 6 stops and a fumble recovery. Carrington Contee also had 6 tackles, while Justice Waller had 5 stops with 1.5 for loss. Tyler Richardson and Daigien Morgan also had 5 tackles each.