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McClain Tigers hang on for 2-point win at CHCA; improve to 4-1

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
McClain quarterback Drake Stapleton, left, scored three of the Tigers' touchdowns at CHCA, while running back Andrew Potts, right, added one TD. (HCP file photo/Jim Jones)
Caitlin Forsha, The Highland County Press

Trailing by 10 points at halftime, the McClain Tigers scored 19 points in the second half and held the host Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Eagles to one fourth-quarter touchdown, as McClain held on to win 27-25.

The game saw quarterback Drake Stapleton rush for 106 yards and score three of the four touchdowns on the night, while leading rusher Andrew Potts ran for 161 yards and a TD. Stapleton was also 11-of-16 passing for 91 yards.

The Tigers got on the board first, as McClain scored a touchdown off a 6-yard rush by Potts, who also got the two-point conversion on a three-yard rush for an 8-0 lead.

Unfortunately for McClain, that was their only score of the first half, as CHCA junior Cooper Jepson picked up a fumble and made a 7-yard return for a TD in the first quarter. A two-point conversion by Brayden Mitchum tied the score at 8-8.

In the second quarter, CHCA took the lead with a 5-yard rush by Mitchum, with the PAT converted by Mitchell Rottinghaus making the score 15-8. Rottinghaus later kicked a 33-yard field goal to give them the Eagles an 18-8 lead at halftime.

The Tigers’ defense held CHCA scoreless in the third quarter, while McClain battled back to bring the score to 18-15 and then to take the lead at 21-18. Stapleton first scored a touchdown on a 3-yard rush, with the PAT converted by Seth Weller.

Later in the quarter, Stapleton was back in the end zone on a 1-yard rush, giving the Tigers the 18-15 lead after three quarters.

CHCA retook the lead early in the fourth when Griffin Ridner-Richard made a 66-yard pass to Jackson Vest, with another Rottinghaus PAT making the score 25-21.

With 5:59 left in the game, however, the Tigers added another touchdown for what was the final score of the game, as Stapleton brought the ball into the end zone on another 1-yard rush for the 27-25 final score.

The win improves McClain to 4-1, while CHCA falls to 1-4.

Other stat leaders for McClain included Max Eikenberry making seven receptions for 74 yards. Riley Cummins added three rushes for seven yards and had a one-yard reception. Potts had two receptions totaling nine yards, and Owen Sykes had one seven-yard reception.

Andrew Roeder made four tackles, while Eli Douglas and Cade Sponcil each made three.

Adding 2.5 tackles were Eikenberry and Cohen Six, and with two each were Potts, Weller and Cam Medley. TD Matesic made 1.5 tackles, and Owen Sykes, Riley Cummins, Noah Sponcil and Jayden Allison each made one. Jhett Watson was credited with a half tackle.

The Tigers open Frontier Athletic Conference next week, as they are set to face Miami Trace at home for McClain’s homecoming game. Miami Trace is 3-2, as they defeated Western Brown, 63-31 Friday.

(Editor’s note: Thank you to Charley Roman for sending stats and updates.)