FINDLAY - It's become a familiar refrain for the Tiffin University Dragons.
For the third-straight week, Tiffin fell behind, rallied and appeared to have momentum.
But for the third straight week, the Dragons couldn't finish the comeback and lost.
In this case, Findlay used a consistent and balanced offense to stop TU, 41-17.
The final indicates the game was a rout, and in the first half, it looked like it would be. Behind an offensive line that gave him practically all day to throw, Oiler quarterback Clay Belton threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns. That, combined with a 78-yard, two-score effort from star running back Monterae Williams, staked Findlay to a 27-3 advantage with about four minutes left in the first half.
"We were pretty balanced; our offensive line did a very good job of controlling the line of scrimmage," Findlay coach Rob Keys said after his team improved to 4-1. "We played pretty well on offense."
Tiffin's offense moved the ball a bit in the first half, but it wasn't until a nine-play, 70 yard drive near the end of the half, that it found the end zone. With a young offensive line protecting Dan Pitts (starting in place of injured Dragon quarterback James Capello), the Dragons pulled within 27-9 when Dominique White ran 18 yards for a score.
The Oilers had a chance to increase their lead just before the half, but TU's Keith Butts stepped in front of a Belton pass near the goal line and picked it off.
After a scoreless third quarter, things got interesting for a while in the final period.
Pitts led the Dragons on an 11-play, 53-yard drive, capping it with an 11-yard strike to Jeremy Armstrong in the back of the end zone. On the conversion attempt, Tyler Jones took the snap and eluded the defenders just long enough to toss to TU linebacker Logan Snell.
Suddenly, it was 27-17 and 12:28 remained.
Tiffin coach Gary Goff said he was "extremely happy" with the play of Pitts, who finished 24 of 39 passing for 174 yards.
"Dan Pitts came in and managed the game, did exactly what we asked."
Tiffin's defense had a tough day (it allowed 519 yards of total offense), but it forced a punt on Findlay's next possession.
But Findlay's defense, which had been on the field most of the second half to that point, stiffened, forcing a three-and-out.
"(The defensive stop) was huge because it was a 10-point game," Keys said. "At that point, one or two plays, you could find yourself without the lead."
Instead, after a TU punt, Findlay marched 66 yards in eight plays, re-taking a three-score advantage when Lloyd Henry caught a 16-yard pass from Belton in the left corner of the end zone.
"They controlled the ball; they threw it, they ran it," Goff said. "They manhandled us [with] their offense."
On the ensuing kickoff, TU's return team allowed the ball to hit the turf, and the Oilers recovered. Williams then wrapped the scoring with a 15-yard TD run.
Williams finished with 138 yards rushing.
Leading the way on offense for TU was White, who ran for 109 yards and averaged almost eight yards a carry.
Tiffin slipped to 1-5, 0-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.