ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — A week after being blown out on the road at Eastbrook, the Alexandria Tigers returned home to play Mississinewa in a Central Indiana Conference tilt Friday.
Considered to be the co-favorite in the conference along with Eastbrook, the Indians came in averaging more than 50 points a game while giving up a measly 14. On an almost perfect Indiana night, the Tigers put together a nearly perfect effort to come away with a 34-20 win.
“I’m relieved, our coaching staff and our players are relieved,” a happy Alexandria coach Pete Gast said after the game. “We felt that we were a good football team, and we didn’t show it last week. You believe in yourself, you believe you’re a good football team and you’re better than what you played the week before, but you have a tough opponent staring at you. It wasn’t easy to bounce back.”
Alexandria took advantage of an early Mississinewa mistake when Anthony Thomas pounced on a muffed punt return at the Indians’ 9-yard line. Blaize Kelly hit Drew Johnson in the back corner of the end zone three plays later for a 7-0 lead.
Mississinewa punted on its next possession, and the Tigers struck again. Evan Hodges scored from 27 yards out to give the Tigers a 14-0 cushion early in the second.
Mississinewa shook off the slow start and got back into the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by Blake Dailey.
The Tigers responded with a quick drive of their own, and Kelly hit Dane Johnson on an inside slant for an 8-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead late in the second quarter.
The Indians responded with a drive and a score late in the half to trail 21-14 at halftime.
After a solid start in the first half, the Tigers were faced with starting the second half with the ball, but the Indians had seemingly gained the momentum with the late first-half touchdown.