Homecoming Grand Marshall, Fire Chief Otto Huber delivered the ball, but Little Miami brought the game defeating Loveland 55-20

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (September 19, 2020) – There was a lot of excitement and cheering as a helicopter appeared descending from a clear fall sky above Tiger Stadium at Loveland High School before the Loveland Tigers homecoming kickoff versus the Little Miami Panthers Friday night.

Loveland Fire Chief Otto Huber arrived with the game ball in a helicopter (Chuck Gibson)

Otto Huber, Chief, Loveland-Symmes Fire Department, and  Honorable Grand Marshall for the 2020 Homecoming arrived via helicopter to deliver the game ball near midfield during pregame festivities. Fans cheered loudly as the helicopter landed softly and Chief Huber stepped out onto the playing field. In a brief ceremony near the 50-yard line, he handed the ball off to officials. The warm welcome and applause came on a crisp fall evening – perfect for football, but maybe too cool for a chopper ride.

“It was very cool, it was very cold actually,” said Huber. “I wasn’t expecting it to be that chilly, but it was chilly. It was a great ride and a good opportunity to get around Loveland and see it from a different perspective.”

Homecoming Grand Marshall, Otto Huber, Chief, Loveland Symmes Fire Department delivers the game ball to officials (Chuck Gibson)

Huber said he hasn’t been up in a helicopter in “maybe 25 years” and the landscape of Loveland has changed a lot. He found the birds-eye view very interesting, but, in the end, it was all about delivering the game ball.

“It was amazing,” Huber said. “Our football team, here in Loveland, has always been awesome. We stand behind them and they stand behind us. It’s always been that way in Loveland. It was a great experience and very exciting to be able to come down and deliver that ball to the team. It was great. It was very smooth; beautiful night in the sky. You could see for miles.”

The Loveland High School Marching Band during the National Anthem Friday, September, 18, 2020 (Chuck Gibson)

Excitement and anticipation continued as the Tigers took the field waving the Red-White-n-Blue American Flags with a roaring Harley-Davidson escort during the team introduction. The excitement and anticipation disappeared quickly during the Panthers opening drive of the game. Little Miami used just less than four minutes to go 76 yards scoring a touchdown on a pass, and run-after-catch to take the lead. The kick failed, leaving the score 6-0 Panthers with 8:08 left in the first quarter.

The Harley-Davidson crew ready to escort the Tigers onto the field (Chuck Gibson)

The Tigers take the field waving the Red, White, and Blue American Flags (Chuck Gibson)

The Tigers started their first possession on their own 35 and failed to sustain a drive punting the ball back away. Little Miami started at their own 8- yard line, converted a 3rd and 12 with a pass completion out to the 35 yard line. The Loveland defense stiffened forcing a punt, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Panthers a first down on the Loveland 49 yard line. The next play was a 49 yard pass completion for a touchdown. A two-point conversion attempt failed and Little Miami led 12-0 with 2:51 to play in the quarter. The Panthers recovered a Tiger fumble at the 34 yard line and struck quickly with a 66 yard scoring pass. They converted the two-point attempt to go ahead 20-0 still in the first quarter. Loveland went three and out and the Panthers had the ball back to end the quarter. Little Miami took less than 90 seconds to get in the end zone at the start of the 2nd Quarter and converted their second consecutive 2-point try to lead 28-0 with 10:37 to play in the half.

Little Miami Panthers scroing one of their six (6) first half TD’s (Chuck Gibson)

The Tigers offense continued to struggle punting and then fumbling the ball away while Little Miami continued to move the ball every possession. The Panthers added a 22 yard scoring play, made the kick and increased their lead to 35-0. The Tiger offense showed its first sign of life driving 56 yards for a touchdown. The kick was good making the score 35-7 with just 1:04 to play in the half. Little Miami was not done yet; they again struck quickly scoring their sixth touchdown of the half adding the PAT closing the half out with a 42-7 lead over the Tigers.  



Both teams added 13 points in the second half rounding out the scoring for the night with the Panthers spoiling the Tigers bid for their first win of the 2020 season on homecoming night by a final score of 55-20. With the loss, the Tigers remain winless at 0-3 overall and 0-3 in conference play. The victory is the first for the Panthers on the season bringing their record to 1-2 in conference play and 1-3 overall after four games.

Other Scores from ECC Friday night:

Kings 41-20 over Lebanon

Anderson 42-0 over West Clermont

Walnut Hills 24-6 over Withrow

Winton Woods visits Milford Saturday, September 19, 2020

Turpin was not on the ECC schedule


Soccer update: The Lady Tigers remain undefeated following consecutive ties Thursday and Saturday. They played Kings to a 1-1 draw on Thursday and again played to a 1-1 draw with Mason today, (Saturday, September 19, 2020) in Mason.  The girls are 3-0-1 in ECC action and 6-0-1 overall.

The Boys soccer team collected a 2-1 win over Kings at home on Thursday. They are playing at Mason tonight. (Saturday, September 19, 2020) The boys are 3-1-0 in ECC action and 5-1-1 overall.

Check http://www.lovelandtigers.org for more about Loveland High School Athletics

 Check http://www.eccsports.com for results, standings, and more.