CLINTON – Camanche head coach said before the matchup on Thursday that Tipton was one of the better 2-2 teams he had seen on film.
The Tigers proved why on Thursday night at NelsonCorp Field, dominating the Indians 48-13 in the district opener and the Citizens First Bank LumberBowl.
“They’re a really good football team,” head coach Dustin Coit said. “They’re big, they’re physical and we knew that coming in.” “We still had shots and chances even picking up the pressure a little bit.”
The first quarter saw both defenses deadlocked. The Indians knew that the Tigers liked to run the ball, averaging single digit passes. The kept them in check the first two drives, including an interception by Cade Everson.
“Our defense, especially first half, played really strong,” Coit said.
The Tigers broke the ice offensively. Starting with a big pass play, Tipton found a hole in the Camanche defense and ran the ball in 49 yards for the first score of the game.
However, it took the Indians a mere 16 seconds to respond. On the first play of the series, a pass from Caleb Delzell found Kyle DeWeedt with a good extra point to even everything up at 7-7 with 3:31 remaining in the first quarter.
The Indians took the lead to start the second. Just ten seconds in, Raul Esparza picked off the quarterback around midfield and returned all the way to the goal line to push the Indians up 13-7.
The defense did the job again, with a big turnover on downs on the one yard line. However, on the snap the Indians fumbled the ball which turned into an easy touchdown for the Tigers at 8:15.
It escalated from there.
A few minutes ticked off the clock and then a 49-yard pass play by Tipton for the ball into Camanche territory, topped off with a 25-yard touchdown pass.
“The first half we did a nice job stopping it [Tipton’s run], did what we wanted to do,” Coit said. “We wanted to force them to throw a little bit and they did. They made some nice plays.”
Meanwhile, the offense had gone stagnant. After DeWeerdt caught the touchdown pass late in the first, the Tipton coverage was all over the Camanche receivers, who just couldn’t get their hands on the passes.
The big defensive line held any rush attempts at bay as well.
“We had some dropped balls, dropped passes. One would have probably been a touchdown,” Coit said. “I don’t know if it was mental lapses. We just didn’t execute as well as we could have.”
They were down just one score at the half but saw that lead extend as soon as quarter three began. Tipton picked off Delzell early and turned that into a touchdown just two plays later.
A few more mishaps, including a sack and fumble, and all of a sudden the Indians saw a running clock.
“We had two turnovers and gave them a short field, that didn’t help,” Coit said. “They took advantage it and we didn’t really recover from it.”
“That’s what they do, they get behind those big boys and pound it, pound it, pound it.”
It’s still the first week of districts, leaving the Indians four more opponents in Class 2A District 5 to make up the ground. The winner of the district automatically advances to the postseason.
“It’s one game in districts. They’re going to be a tough team, but you never know they could lose too,” Coit said. “It’s still wide open. We have to recover, recoup and next week is a new week.”
Camanche (0-1, 3-2) will head on the road to take on Louisa-Muscatine next week, returning home on October 11.