ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Turpin football coach Rob Stoll completed a few media interviews then walked over to his players gathered in a postgame huddle late Friday night.
“You guys freaking work,'” Stoll said. “'Every day you work so hard and bring it every day. I am so proud of you.'”
The host Spartans remained undefeated with a 27-7 win over Kings Friday night in a game that featured two Eastern Cincinnati Conference and Division II powers who’ve had a storied history over the years.
Homecoming Night also featured the return of Turpin standout senior running back Luke Bohenek, who has been out the past few weeks with a hamstring injury.
Bohenek had 91 net rushing yards through three quarters and a first-half touchdown to help lead the Spartans (6-0, 3-0 Eastern Cincinnati Conference). He finished with 30 carries for 120 yards.
“This is huge,” Bohenek said. “Last year they beat us in the playoffs so this was a little bit of redemption.”
Kings defeated Turpin 47-13 in the second round of the 2015 playoffs after the Spartans won in the regular season. .
— Mike Dyer (@MikeDyer) October 1, 2016
Coaches don’t like to dwell on the past, but clearly Turpin’s final game last season was on the players’ minds this week.
Stoll didn’t have to say much to his players during the week about the rivalry.
“I’m happy we beat them,” Turpin senior linebacker Lang Evans said. “We got our (butts kicked) our sophomore year, so it’s good to get back at them. They’re a great team. They have some phenomenal players.”
Stoll said Friday night’s performance solidified his mindset about his team. He did not expect the margin of victory, but he was happy with the result and the leadership of his seniors
"I am pretty happy with them, for sure," Stoll said. "They played hard. It's all about the guys and how hard they work. I can't tell you how awesome it is to coach them."
Turpin scored 20 unanswered points, starting early in the second quarter. Kings (4-2, 2-1 ECC) committed three turnovers in the first half.
“Turnovers hurt us and not being able to finish drives,” Kings coach Andy Olds said. “I don’t know how many times we got into the red zone and didn’t get any points. That’s really hard against a team like Turpin.”
Kings struck first when its capitalized on Turpin’s fumble on the opening drive. Senior defensive back Grant Coleman forced the fumble following a third-down pass in the flat and junior defensive end Ethan Young recovered.
Four plays later, senior quarterback Tyler Knecht scored on a 1-yard run. Sophomore Logan Schmidt added the extra point and the Knights led 7-0. Knecht finished with 250 yards passing and showed excellent arm strength with passes toward the far side of the field.
Turpin responded on its third drive when junior Harry Sand made a 32-yard field goal to make it with 7-3 with 11:07 left in the second quarter.
Turpin junior Will Hausfeld had interceptions on Kings’ next two possessions.
The Spartans capitalized on the second one as Bohenek scored on a 2-yard touchdown and Sand added the extra point to give Turpin a 10-7 lead at the 4:53 mark.
Junior quarterback Lucas Smith scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Spartans a 17-7 lead. Smith was 15 of 26 passing for 239 yards.
Kings missed a field goal as time expired in the first half.
The Spartans struck again in the third quarter when Sand had a 27-yard field goal.
Then with 53 seconds left in the third, Smith found senior tight end Tyler Schnitzler for a 5-yard touchdown pass. That play completed an eight-play, 76-yard drive that took 2:54. On the drive, Smith found senior Jack Campbell for a 38-yard pass past midfield. Campbell made a spectacular one-handed grab in traffic. Campbell had seven receptions for 173 yards.
RELATED: Complete scores from Week 7
Turpin, ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Division II state poll, plays host to Withrow at 7 p.m. Oct. 7.
Turpin is rated No. 1 in the Division II, Region 8 computer points standings and No. 4 in the TriStateFootball.com Divisions II-III team rankings.
Kings is rated No. 6 in the Division II, Region 8 computer points standings. The Knights are No. 3 in the TriStateFootball.com Divisions II-III team rankings.
Kings plays host to Milford at 7 p.m. Oct. 7.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
K-Knecht 1 run (Schmidt kick)
T-Sand 36 FG
T-Bohenek 2 run (Sand kick)
T-Smith 2 run (Sand kick)
T-Sand 27 FG
T-Schnitzler 6 pass from Smith (Sand kick)
Records: K 4-2, 2-1 ECC; T 6-0, 3-0 ECC
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