Tipton ends Chiefs' football season in regionals
Santa Fe couldn't have drawn a much tougher foe in its return to the Class 1 state football playoffs last Wednes-day at Tipton.
The Cardinals remained unbeaten at 11-0 with a resounding 45-6 victory over Santa Fe, which finished its season 8-3.
Tipton scored three first-quarter touchdowns and built a 26-6 halftime lead. The Car-dinals added two scores in the third quarter and another in the fourth.
The Cardinals, who have reached the semifinal round of the playoffs each of the past three years, started the game with an 11-play, 58-yard march, ending in Cameron Backes' 1-yard plunge for a 6-0 lead with 7:11 to go in the period.
Santa Fe failed to get a first down and turned over the ball at its own 14 when it messed up a punt attempt.
Burt Barbour made the Chiefs pay immediately with a 14-yard scoring run with 4:55 left in the first quarter.
The Cardinals again stiffened on defense, setting up a 6-play, 55-yard possession, Aaron Ray carrying the ball over the goal line on a 1-yard run for a 20-0 lead with 10 seconds remaining in quarter No. 1.
Tipton forced a fumble and Riley Brant hit Zach Combs with a 32-yard scoring pass with 8:37 left in the first half.
Trailing 26-0, the Chiefs put together a 16-play, 67-yard drive, three times converting on fourth down, for their lone score of the night. Ross Tieman hit Ben Nienhueser with a 4-yard scoring pass with 20 seconds left in the half, giving them some momentum heading to the locker room.
But on their second possession of the second half, Tieman was hit and had his pass intercepted by Cub Reckner at the Chiefs' 7-yard line, Backes scoring from there.
Backes' 40-yard punt return set up the next Cardinals' score, a 4-yard run by Backes with 3:07 left in the third quarter and a 38-6 advantage.
The Cardinals forced another Santa Fe turnover on a fumble at the Chiefs' 48, setting up an eight-play march, capped by Brant's 1-yard sneak with 6:02 left in the game, forcing the clock into turbo mode.
The Chiefs managed 138 yards of total offense, including 65 yards rushing from Tieman in 22 carries and 72 yards passing on six of 13. But Tieman was intercepted two times and the Chiefs turned over the ball four times.
Tipton ran up 222 yards rushing and had 288 yards of total offense.
Santa Fe, making its first appearance in the state playoffs since 2004, loses seven senior starters and nine in all. Gone will be Brett Giffen, Corey Fitzwater, Ross Tieman, Nathan Michaels, Logan Brumback, Juan Garcia, Tyler Jones, Michael Fletcher and Tyler Wilkinson.
The Cardinals played at 11-0 Concordia in the sectional round of the playoffs Monday.
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