TIPTON — Ryan Wood scored three touchdowns and rushed for 141 yards and the Tipton defense held Harrisburg to minus 2 yards of total offense in a 48-0 win over the Bulldogs Friday.
The Cardinals defense held Harrisburg to minus 14 yards of total offense in the first half as three of the Bulldogs’ eight possessions resulted in lost yardage and the longest drive picked up nine yards.
Harrisburg gained a total of 12 yards on three drives in the second half.
“We didn’t see this type of offense from them on film that we saw,” said Tipton coach Tony Braby. “So they kind of caught us off guard, but we just saw a lot of kids that were excited about it being Homecoming and wanting to put a good show on for the fans, and I think they did. We were really wound up on the defensive line and gave them fits all night.”
Harrisburg had 15 plays lose yardage as the Cardinals defensive line kept getting penetration and meeting Bulldog rushers in the backfield.
“What we emphasize as a defense is to use your hands and stay low so that the offense can’t get hold of your shoulder pads,” said Tipton senior defensive lineman Austin Bennett. “Mainly what we teach in our practice is to stay low, use your hands and get to the quarterback.”
With the Tipton defense consistently making stops, the offense consistently had good field position. The Cardinals started five drives in Harrisburg territory.
On offense, the Cardinals gained 260 yards on the ground.
“The sweeps were working really well,” Wood said. “When we swept it right, we saw the flow and the counter was working really well.”
Wood struck on the ground, catching passes and throwing passes. A pair of long Wood runs set up Seth Gibson for the first touchdown of the game.
“Coaches always tell us we need a big play to pump up the team and get them motivated so I just made that play to get the team pumped up so we could get the win,” Wood said.
Wood set up the next score by downing a punt at the Harrisburg one. The Bulldogs fumbled on the next play and Tipton recovered at the five, punching it in on a five-yard run by Wood.
A long punt return by Wood set the Cardinals next drive up at the Harrisburg 25 and he carried it to the Bulldogs’ nine on first down before Gibson punched it in on the next play.
Wood dove in from the one just before halftime to put Tipton ahead 28-0. He set up that score with a 20-yard reception from Braiden Brownfield and an 11-yard halfback pass to Bryce Sanders.
Tipton added a pair of third quarter touchdowns as Dylan Becker scored from 41 yards out and Wood carried it in from 32 yards out for his third touchdown of the game.
“Just having him out there, he’s got the most minutes of varsity time and the kids really look up to his leadership,” Brady said of Wood. “He’s one of our captains, always first one in the weight room and one of the last ones to leave and he’s being doing things, freshman, sophomore year, even on JV throwing the ball when we needed. He can do a little bit of everything.”
Dalton Weaver capped off the scoring with a 10-yard run in the final minute.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles