The Turpin Spartans entered Friday night one win away from their first 10-0 season since Eastern Cincinnati Conference play began -- and the team was successful in that feat, defeating the Loveland Tigers 30-14 in the regular season finale at Tiger Stadium.
The win guarantees the Spartans one of the top seeds in the Division II playoffs, which will begin next week.
Loveland's defense matched the strength of Turpin's defense in the first quarter, with neither team finding the end zone. No field goals were made.
Turpin scored first in the second quarter when Will Hausfeld found the end zone on a 23-yard rush for the Spartans, giving them an early 7-0 lead that they would take into the locker room.
Loveland came out firing in the second half when senior running back Luke Waddell broke through the Spartans' defense for a 63-yard rushing touchdown. The missed extra point still gave Turpin the edge 7-6.
Turpin began to break away after that, with quarterback Lucas Smith throwing to Harry Sand for a six-point score to give the Spartans a 14-6 lead. A safety would extend that lead to 16-6 in favor of the Spartans.
Despite a couple of scores after that, the safety just about clinched the game and the undefeated season for Turpin, which also won its second consecutive ECC title.
Next week, Turpin will likely host a playoff game at Spartan Stadium. Last season, Turpin knocked off ECC foe Glen Este in the first round before falling to co-ECC champions Kings in the second round.
Coming into the game, Loveland was ranked 14th in the latest computer rankings in Division II, Region 8. The loss will likely knock the Tigers out of playoff contention, ultimately ending the 2016 season.