The Warriors’ return to form concludes in the Quarterfinals of Class 1A | Sports

COLFAX — Errors added up to end Tuscola football’s return on Saturday afternoon.

The fourth-seeded Warriors were unable to overcome five turnovers in a 41-6 loss at leaders Ridgeview/Lexington, who withdrew in the late stages to advance to the Class 1A semifinals.

“They come off the ball really well and never put themselves in a bad situation,” said Tuscola coach Andy Romine. “And we’ve done it ourselves four or five times. They push the ball away, play good defense and put pressure on you.”

Ridgeview/Lexington (12-0) opened against the Warriors (9-3) with two quick hits in the first quarter, with Farrell and Whitehill finding the endzone with two-yard and six-yard rushes. Tuscola drove the ball effectively in the early stages but failed to finish the drives.

“The name of the game was turning the ball over and not coming off the field fourth,” Romine said, lamenting fumbling in the first two drives of the game. “What we noticed about Ridgeview in the film is that they bend down and give up a few feet, but they always seem to turn people around. And they turned us around.”

Parker James hit a 7-yard run in the first half with 6:54 left to give some hope for Tuscola going into halftime. But problems persisted throughout the third quarter, with Ridgeview/Lexington leading 21-6.

“We had 14 first downs (total), but in the third quarter we had two fumbles and three plays,” Romine said. “That’s what happens when you don’t come off the field in fourth place.”

Logan Friedmansky led the Mustangs with 135 rushing yards on 16 carries and had three of the team’s four touchdowns in the second half. Ridgeview/Lexington scored 28 unanswered points to end the game.

The Mustangs face second-seeded Camp Point Central (12-0) next week with a trip to Memorial Stadium in Champaign and the 1A state championship game at stake. After Tuscola returned to the postseason for the first time since 2019, Tuscola’s nine wins this season is their highest total since 2018.

Junior quarterback Jordan Quinn rushed for team-high 69 yards on 15 carries for Tuscola and completed 6 of 13 passes for 35 yards. Freshman Dylan Graves added 35 rushing yards on nine carries in his last game with the Warriors and elder Hunter Branca pulled down three receptions for 19 yards.

“There were zero expectations of this group. None,” Romine said. “As I’ve been told for 10 years, this is the group (that should) fall a little bit. I think we started with 12 children in this high school. We still have 11 of them. They shopped and did whatever they were supposed to do for us.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *