LHS Tigers fail to score in 30-0 loss to ECC Rival Turpin Spartans in first game of 2020 Fall Football Season
By Chuck Gibson
LOVELAND, OH (August 30, 2020) – Excitement filled the air, but fans did not fill the stands at Loveland High School Tiger Stadium for the kick off of the 2020 Fall High School Football Season Friday, August 28.
The Loveland Tigers football team exploded onto the field through the jaws of the giant inflatable Tiger with a blast of fireworks and the band playing the fight song. Anticipation was great, but the reality was different with a socially distanced, parent’s only small gathering of fans in the stands due to the pandemic guidelines and safety protocols. Parents of both the football team and the marching band were allowed in the stands, but it was not the raucous packed house of 3,000 cheering Tiger fans you would normally find for Friday night football at Loveland High School. This is not your normal fall high school sport season. LHS Athletic Director Brian Conatser could feel it.
“It has a different feel,” said Conatser. “There’s no one here. We usually have 3,000 people packed in here on a Friday night. This feels more like a high level JV game.”
Maybe the players from both sides could feel it too. Loveland received the opening kick-off from Turpin and the offense, led by senior quarterback Calvin Cloud, failed to move the ball on their first possession of the 2020 football season. They punted it away on fourth down. The Tiger defense looked sharp stifling the Turpin offense on their first possession of 2020. The Spartans punted it away. Both teams traded punts in the first quarter until Turpin converted a couple first downs driving to the Tiger 44 yard line as a scoreless first quarter came to a close.
The second quarter started fast and furious with the Spartans hitting on a 44-yard touchdown pass and point-after to take a 7-0 lead just six seconds into the quarter. The Tigers responded with a drive down to the Spartan 5-yard line, but a fumbled snap from center resulted in a 15-yard loss back to the 20-yard line. The drive stalled ending in a partially blocked field goal attempt failing to split the uprights. On the next possession, the Spartans moved the ball through the air again before crossing the goal line on a 23-yard run around the left side for a touchdown. The kick failed leaving them with a 13-0 lead and 5:34 to play in the half. The Spartans added a field goal before the close of first half play taking a 16-0 lead into halftime.
The Loveland Tiger Marching Band, under the direction of Band Director Jeff Miller, provided half-time entertainment for the sparse crowd with an outstanding musical performance. They played a variety of music from their competition program along with the Loveland Tiger fight song.
Things didn’t get any better as the two teams returned to the field for the 2nd half. Turpin added a touchdown early to increase their lead to 23-0 before the Tigers threatened to break into the scoring column. A nice scramble for a big gain by Tiger QB Cloud moved the Tigers into Spartan territory late in the 3rd quarter. An outstanding leaping grab on the sidelines by Tiger receiver Ethan Lund gave the Tigers a first and goal at the Turpin 5-yard line. Again a mishandled snap from center, moved the Tigers backward. The drive stalled and the field goal unit came out for a 31 yard try. It appeared a Spartan player got a piece of the ball which hit the crossbar and fell short. Turpin added another touchdown late to make the final score 30-0.
The loss dropped the Tigers to an 0-1 to start the season. The Turpin win gives the Spartans a 1-0 record to open the 2020 ECC High School Football Season.
Next up for LHS Football: The Tigers host West Clermont Friday, September 4, at 7:00 p.m.
Other Friday Night Lights News of Note: Covid-19 safety protocols were in place with fans wearing masks as required. There were signs at all the entrance gates and several reminders for social distancing announced during the game. The Loveland Athletic Boosters (LAB) live-stream video “broadcast” garnered some 900 viewers looking (and listening in) during the game. Loveland trainers helped Tiger Defensive Back Trent Williamson off the field after he went down with an apparent injury to his right leg during a 3rd quarter Spartan touchdown play. A Turpin player received attention from Spartan training staff on the same play.
Other results from around the Eastern Cincinnati Conference Friday, August 28, 2020:
Lebanon defeated West Clermont 21-13
Milford edged Oak Hills 28-24
Winton Woods blanked Edgewood 34-0
Anderson, Kings, Little Miami & Walnut Hills did not play
For more on Loveland High School Athletics, go to: www.lovelandtigers.org
For more ECC sports information, go to: www.eccsports.com