Collard gets to celebrate a rare homecoming victory

Joe Collard had never been part of a homecoming win while at Tiffin University.

Collard is a rare player at Tiffin University. First off, he’s a senior on a predominantly young Dragons squad. Second, he’s one of the few players on the roster that TU coach Gary Goff didn’t recruit. Collard was brought to Tiffin during former coach Dave Walkosky’s run.

Collard was in the middle of everything Saturday in Tiffin’s 34-30 homecoming win over Malone. He had a team-high 17 tackles.

“Coach Goff said it’s our first win since 2006 here at homecoming. It’s a great win for the program,” Collard said. “Next week we’ve got to take a step forward, at home, against Findlay. It starts from here.”

Collard wasn’t the only veteran talking about the future. Cornerback Antonio Etter, another senior, was talking momentum after Saturday’s win over Malone.

“I always think you see one W, and they just keep rolling,” said Etter, who had an interception and recovered a crucial onside kick in the fourth quarter. “Hopefully we’ll go in there next week, we’re at home, and get the win for our fans and Tiffin University.”

Goff said he was thrilled with the play of his seniors.

“I thought Joe played really hard from what I saw on the sidelines,” he said. “Of course, Etter is Etter. He always gives us his best effort. Hopefully we can build some momentum off this.”

SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT: What had Goff smiling after the game Saturday?

The grin started forming after he was told his quarterback, Antonio Pipkin, was not sacked at all in the game.

This is coming off a week when Pipkin was sacked nine times in a loss to Northwood.

“I hadn’t seen the stats, but if that’s the case, I’m definitely going to relax a little tonight,” Goff said.

THINK LOCALLY: McComb graduate Jerry Brown had 44 yards on 14 carries Saturday, and was the primary running back, flanking Pipkin most of the afternoon.

That’s an all-freshman backfield.

“He’s a great player, he really is, and a lot like Pipkin,” Goff said. “You watch him play and you forget that he’s a freshman. He’ll make a mistake here or there, too, but he’s a great player and he’s only going to get better.”

Still, the youth on the field can concern a coach.

“The radio show before kickoff, they reminded me, ‘Well, how do you feel about starting a true freshman backfield?,'” Goff said. “I laughed and said, ‘Can you quit reminding me about that?’

“But once we get into the game, we don’t think that way. We’re gonna get better and better with every snap.”

Brown wasn’t the only area player who was involved in the TU win. Buckeye Central product Jordan Herrnstein had nine tackles for TU, while Bellevue’s Jalen Santoro was back fielding punts.

SCREENS: The opening kickoff was delayed 45 minutes due to lighting. The game went about three hours, so long that before Malone’s players left the field after their postgame meeting, Calvert football coach Todd Fox and his staff were on another part of the field, preparing for their 7 p.m. game with Carey … Former TU receiver Obadiah Dykes was on the sidelines during the game, and joined the players in the postgame huddle … Former Tiffin men’s basketball standout Karl Finley, now playing professionally in Canada, was at the game.