Dragons hold off Northwood 40-27 in season opener

Victor Talley was one of three TU receivers that had more than 92 yards receiving.
Victor Talley was one of three TU receivers that had more than 92 yards receiving.

Tiffin University (1-0) used a relentless offensive attack to rack up 25 first half points and then held off Northwood over the course of the second half, beating the Timberwolves 40-27 in their season opener.

The Dragons wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, taking their opening drive 75 yards over 11 plays and capping it off with a 3 yard pass from Nick Watson to Tyler Denton to make it 7-0.

Tiffin continued its assault on its next possession, driving 65 yards in 9 plays. Kyle Brunson rushed it in from one yard out and Watson then raced around left end for the two-point conversion to make it 15-0 TU after two possessions.

After Northwood answered late in the first quarter with a touchdown to make it 15-6, the Dragons forced a fumble which was recovered by Ross Moore to give TU the ball on NU's 34 yard line. Joseph Metcalf shortly thereafter drilled a 32 yard field goal to make it 18-6 at the 7:04 mark of the second quarter.

A botched punt on Northwood's next drive gave TU the ball on downs at the Northwood 21 yard line. Victor Talley quickly made it 25-6 with a 7 yard touchdown catch from Watson to give TU a 19 points halftime advantage.

Neither team got very far in the third quarter, as Northwood finally put a touchdown on the board with 10 seconds left in the quarter to cap a 66 yard drive and bring the score to 25-13, Tiffin.

TU looked set to take control for good on its next possession, as Charles Holland took a pass from Watson and raced 75 yards down the sideline for the score. AJ Nickoli then ran in the two-point conversion to put TU ahead 33-13 with 14:18 to play.

Northwood, however, refused to fall, scoring consecutive TDs over the next 7 minutes to bring the score to 33-27 with 6:27 to play.

The Dragons kept their composure, however, putting together a 75 yard drive over the next 2:22 and capping it off with a big 41 yard touchdown run by Tylan Rice to jump ahead 40-27 with 4:13 to play.

After holding Northwood over their next four plays and forcing a turnover on downs, the Dragons then ran out the clock, collecting two key first downs rushing to run out the clock.

Overall TU outgained NU 449-365, including 317 yards through the air. Watson was efficient, connecting on 24 of 29 passes with no interceptions for 317 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

Tiffin had no turnovers in the game while forcing two interceptions and a fumble defensively. They went 10 for 15 on third down conversions while holding Northwood to 4 of 11. 

Charles Holland led a strong receiving corps with 111 yards on 9 receptions, while Talley had 92 yards on 8 catches. Tyler Denton also had 99 yards on 5 catches. Rice rushed for 64 yards on 9 carries (7.1 per rush), while Marquette Dixon also had 57 yards on the ground.

Defensively Avion Boyd led the way with 10 tackles, while Daijohn Isbell and Daigien Morgan had 8 apiece. Delan Wynn, Jacob Mertus, and Alex Melfe also had 5 stops each.