Photo by Todd Thoenen
(CANTON, Ohio) – It came down to the final minutes, but Walsh was unable to take down Tiffin as it fell 27-20 in its G-MAC opener at Tom Benson Stadium on Saturday. The Cavaliers (0-3, 0-1) played their best game of the season and had the unbeaten Dragons (4-0, 2-0) on their heels in the fourth, but a drive late in the fourth stalled and the visitors were able to run out the clock.
Walsh initially got on the board on the opening drive as Koby Adu-Poku punched it in from a yard out for a quick 7-0 lead. It capped a nine-play, 69-yard drive in the first 4:38 of action. The lead held up until the second when Tiffin's Nick Watson found Charles Holland from nine yards out to tie the game. The Dragons proceeded to take the lead on Walsh's first play from scrimmage as Da'Von Johnson intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.
The Maroon and Gold answered by way of Kasey Tingler's leg as he nailed a 43-yard to make it 14-10 with 5:52 to go in the half. It was one of two 43-yarders as the sophomore was perfect on the day with two field goals and two PAT's. The second field goal came in the third to make the score 27-13.
The Cavaliers' final touchdown came from Jerome Harris as he pulled in a Nick Gassman pass to the corner from 11 yards out early in the fourth quarter. Gassman was efficient at 17-of-24 for 155 yards. Harris was his favorite target with five catches for 39 yards. Adu-Poku topped him in receiving yards with 45 on four receptions
Adu-Poku was excellent on the ground as well as he rumbled for 117 yards on 20 carries for a 5.8 yard average. His longest was 42.
Walsh was put in position to win or tie thanks to a solid defense that also limited the Dragons to 20 points and blocked a couple of kicks on special teams. One came on Tiffin's touchdown in the third quarter by Leondre Crosby. The second came on a field goal attempt as Brandon Tate was able to get a hand on a short kick.
The Cavs will now head to Owensboro, Ky., in search of their first win as they visit Kentucky Wesleyan a week from today. Kickoff with the Panthers is set for 2 p.m., 1 p.m. central.