Urbana showed signs of offensive firepower but the Hillclimbers couldn’t match a stronger performance by visiting Tecumseh Friday night. The Arrows left U-town with a 28-3 victory to improve to 3-2.
Tecumseh opened the game with a convincing drive that started at its own 35 after Urbana’s opening kickoff went out of bounds. Moving the ball with consistency, the Arrows scored on their 10th play when Jayden McFarland connected on a 9-yard TD pass with receiver Blake Nickell. After Garrett McCormick’s extra-point kick, Tecumseh owned a 7-0 lead with 8:33 to play in the first quarter.
Urbana’s first drive of the game stalled out after nine plays and a punt and the Arrows started near midfield on their next drive with 5:04 left in the first quarter.
Nickell tore off a big ground gainer to open the drive, but Tecumseh had to convert a 4th-and-3 to stay alive. Five plays later McCormick dashed 16 yards for a TD with 1:08 left in the first quarter. He added the extra point for a 14-0 Arrow lead that endured through the end of the first quarter.
Urbana’s most fruitful drive of the first half was sparked by a long pass from Levi Boettcher to Devin Trent that set up the Hillclimbers at the Arrow 27. Urbana converted a 4th-and-2 to keep the drive alive and Ezra Lee ran for a first down at the visitors’ 6 yard line before the Arrows’ defense stiffened.
On 4th-and-4, Urbana’s Cooper Johnson kicked a 22-yard field goal to light up the home side of the scoreboard, 14-3.
Tecumseh answered quickly and dramatically when Nickell dashed 79 yards for paydirt with 8:01 to play in the first half. McCormick’s PAT was good, and Tecumseh extended its lead to 21-3.
The Arrows nearly added another TD as time ran out in the first half on a pass to the end zone, but it was denied by Urbana’s tight pass defense.
In the first half, Tecumseh dominated on offense with 263 yards on 34 plays and zero punts.
Nickell scored on a 7-yard run with 53 seconds left in the third quarter. With McCormick’s PAT, the Arrows held a 28-3 lead.
The fourth quarter was scoreless after turnovers on both sides of the ball.
Urbana drops to 1-4 after the loss and hosts winless Greenon next Friday night on homecoming.
Brenda Burns can be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1771 or on Twitter @UDCBurns.