Tecumseh football remains upbeat after 55-28 loss to Pinckney
TECUMSEH — Tecumseh lost Friday, but hasn’t lost faith.
The Indians (1-2) spoke optimistically after falling 55-28 against Pinckney in their Southeastern Conference opener, which was highly-contested until it got away from Tecumseh in the final minute of the third quarter.
Tecumseh was still able to show off its offensive firepower, as the Indians have scored more than 27 points in each of their three games this season after surpassing that mark twice in the previous two seasons combined.
This week, they did it without what Dolson called the team’s best offensive player in Jobe Benschoter, who broke his collarbone two days before the game.
“We talked the very next day, life goes on,” Dolson said. “We have to continue to play. We can’t feel sorry for us. They’re not going to feel sorry for us. I was proud of the kids that that didn’t affect them. They were playing for each other”
Tecumseh received the ball first Friday and scored on a 110-second drive capped by a 29-yard run by quarterback Jake Burns.
The junior finished with 139 yards passing and a team-leading 101 yards rushing. His backfield mate AJ Bryan scored three times and tallied 138 total offensive yards after last week’s five-touchdown performance.
“We absolutely put up a fight,” Bryan said. “Our o-line did absolutely amazing. Our defense did amazing. Pinckney is just a tough team. We’re going to get better next week.”
Tecumseh’s second straight loss and fifth consecutive against Pinckney wasn’t inevitable, as Tecumseh was behind 34-28 in the middle of the second half and appeared heading toward another nail-biter like last week’s 48-47 loss to Gull Lake.
Then the Pirates (2-1) scored two touchdowns in the final minute of the third quarter to take a 48-28 lead, the last of which was notched when Pinckney defensive lineman Charlie Lovell forced a fumble right after a Tecumseh quarterback-running back exchange and rumbled 37 yards down the field for a touchdown.
Right before that, the Pirates scored on a one-play, 14-yard TD drive set up be a punt return by Caleb Wardlow. There wasn’t supposed to be a return as a fair catch signal was made, but a Tecumseh coverage team member got too close to the returner and the ball ricocheted off him, causing a live ball situation in which Pinckney had nothing to lose in returning it because a penalty would be called on Tecumseh.
It was not the first of the special team woes, as the Indians allowed a touchdown on their first kickoff of the game right after they scored the first TD of the game.
“We said all week we’ve got to focus on the details and in that moment we weren’t locked in,” said Dolson, whose team never held a lead again. “We put ourselves in a hole and we couldn’t dig it out.”
The Indians look to regain momentum this coming Friday at rival Adrian. A win would give them their first multi-win season since 2018.
“We’re getting better each week,” Dolson said. “The score might not reflect it, but we are getting better and there’s confidence growing and I think that’s going to give some teams some problems as we move forward.”