By ANDY WOLF
TIFFIN — Randy Anderson wanted to make it up to his University of Findlay teammates for allowing a fourth-quarter and go-ahead touchdown pass.
He literally picked the perfect moment.
The senior defensive back intercepted Tiffin quarterback Antonio Pipkin’s last second heave in the end zone to preserve a 27-23 Oilers win Saturday at Frost Kalnow-Stadium.
“I knew when the time came if the ball came my way, I had to make a play for my brothers,” Anderson said after making his first career start at safety.
The Oilers thrived on three second-half turnovers and erased a 16-7 third-quarter deficit.
UF evened its record at 4-4 overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They’ve also won 17 straight over the Dragons (5-3, 4-3 GLIAC) since 1993.
“That’s back-to-back last play wins against Tiffin and the defense was on the play for both wins,” UF coach Rob Keys said as the Oilers made a fourth-and-1 stop in the final minute last year to clinch a 48-44 home win. “I can’t give our kids and our coaching staff enough credit.
“There was a lot of adversity today: down at halftime, down in fourth quarter. Situations where it didn’t look good.”
UF’s Dylan Blunk, a Findlay High grad, scored the go-ahead 5-yard touchdown grab from Rhys Gervais with 54 seconds remaining.
Blunk was matched up one-on-one in the right corner of the end zone, winning the jump ball.
“Rhys and I were talking before the game and he said ‘if I get the matchup I like out there and you’re out there, I’m going to throw it out there and leave it up to you,'” said Blunk, who had 22 yards on three catches. “I knew I had it secure but (the defender’s) arm was between the ball and my chest. As I was coming down I tried to roll over and secure it and knew the referee would see I had control over it.”
The score capped an eight-play, 84-yard drive starting with 4:16 remaining.
It also cemented a second-straight turnover free game for the Oilers.
Gervais threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns, hitting 17 of 37 attempts.
Luke Stuffel hauled in a 3-yard score on Findlay’s opening drive, while Jason Moore had a 2-yard score in the third quarter.
Moore (106 yards, six catches) put in his fifth-straight 100-yard receiving game
Chauncey Bridges, fresh off a career-high 194 yard-game, was at it again, running for 174 yards on 20 carries. Daouda Sylla chipped in nine carries for 44 yards in a spell effort.
“When our run game gets going, we’re a better football team,” Keys said. “Chauncey, Daouda both ran really effectively today. I like the way they saw the holes. They went downhill.”
Defensively, the Oilers kept the Dragons one dimensional as Pipkin had 369 passing yards out of Tiffin’s 427 total yards.
Pipkin torched UF a year ago for 568 total yards, including 234 rushing, and five touchdowns.
He was sacked four times and held to eight yards on 12 carries. His 13-yard scamper was the longest rush by a Tiffin player.
“Our goal was to stop the run and (Pipkin) didn’t run the ball today which was a big one,” Keys said. “When Tiffin wins, he has big, long runs. The passing game, it’s sad but a lot of the pass breakdowns were mental mistakes.”
Findlay 7 0 10 10 — 27
Tiffin 0 9 7 7 — 23
UF — Stuffel 3 pass from Gervais (Bugeja kick)
TU — Hardy 3 run (kick failed)
TU — Courtright 21 FG
TU — Brown 16 pass from Pipkin (Courtright kick)
UF — Moore 2 pass from Gervais (Bugeja kick)
UF — Bugeja 36 FG
UF — Bugeja 32 FG
TU — Holland 10 pass from Pipkin (Courtright kick)
UF — Blunk 5 pass from Gervais (Bugeja kick)
First Downs 18 26
Rushes-yards 30-212 28-58
Passing Yards 176 369
Comp-Att-Int 17-37-0 33-54-2
Punts-Avg. 8-38.6 6-42.3
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 8-80 6-45
rushing — Findlay, Bridges 20-174, Sylla 9-44, Gervais 1-(-6). Tiffin, Hardy 10-26, Brown 3-14, Brunson 3-10, Pipkin 12-8.
passing — Findlay, Gervais 17-37-0–176. Tiffin, Pipkin 32-52-2–364, Holland 1-1-0–5, team 0-1-0–0.
receiving — Findlay, Moore 6-108, Stuffel 3-24, Blunk 3-22, Allton 3-22, Kosak 1-6, Gervais 1-(-6). Tiffin, Holland 17-222, Brunson 4-31, Sesay 1-30, Johnson 4-28, Stamm 2-17, Brown 1-16, Hardy 2-11, Turner 1-9, Pipkin 1-5.
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