Dragons look to get offense going

Tiffin University’s defense played well last week against nationally-ranked Ohio Dominican.

But its offense continued to struggle, with a beat-up offensive line and a freshman quarterback.

The Dragons enter today’s game at Ashland 2-7, and looking for their first points in six quarters.

“We’ve got to find something up front offensively to settle our quarterback down and keep the pressure off him,” Tiffin coach Gary Goff said. “We haven’t executed up front on the offense here the last couple weeks, and that’s caused us to stall a bit.”

TU quarterback Antonio Pipkin went just 17 for 35 passing against Ohio Dominican for 102 yards. He was intercepted twice in the Dragons 18-0 loss.

Goff said injuries to the offensive line have made it difficult for Pipkin.

“We’re a band of brothers up there. There’s only a couple of us,” Goff said. “But it’s a combination of everything. We had some key drops last week, we had a misread here and there with the quarterback. I don’t want to point the finger at one position. I think the guys up front are battling really hard, we’re just out of ammunition up front.”

With that in mind, TU will travel to Ashland for a 1 p.m. game.

Last year, the Eagles had one of their best efforts, going undefeated in the regular season. But some key graduations off the 2012 team have made this year much tougher. Ashland comes in 4-5, 4-4 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Like Tiffin, Ashland is trying to make it work with a freshman signal caller, Tra’Von Chapman. Chapman has thrown for 942 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

“He’s had his ups and downs, but you can see he’s got a lot of talent,” Goff said.

But the offense appears to be paced by the running game, with junior back Anthony Taylor leading the way with 1,454 yards and 11 scores.

“They love to run the football; they’ll run right at you,” Goff said.

On defense, the Eagles are led by lineman Jamie Meder and his three sacks and nine tackles for a loss.

“He’s probably going to be an [NFL] draft pick,” Goff said. “He’s a very dominant player, very strong. I’ve seen him [on tape] all week split double teams like they didn’t exist.”

With two weeks left in his team’s season, Goff said the goals are simple.

“It’s our goal to make sure the seniors leave here with the sense that they have helped [build the program],” Goff said. “We were talking a lot about acting like winners. Winning can’t just be a some-time thing, it’s got to be an all-time thing. Even when the score doesn’t go your way, you still can hang your head up high.”