Here are highlights of the Tigers’ opening win over Willard!
The Republic Tigers used a dominating ground game and a solid defense to pound Willard in their season opener, 32-7. Republic racked up 305 total yards, 280 of them on the ground. The Tigers held Willard to 175 total yards.
Senior Ryan Sifferman led the way with 166 rushing yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Williams rushed 11 times for 93 yards in his first varsity start. He ran for one touchdown and threw for another.
After a slow start, the Tigers jumped on top with 13 seconds left in the first quarter. The Tigers took over at midfield when Jacob Madrzykowski stripped the ball away to force a turnover. On the next play, Williams broke free of a tackler at midfield and rushed 51 yards to the end zone.
That was the score until just before halftime, when Sifferman picked up his first score — a 34-yard run with 1:24 left in the 2nd quarter. A 2-point conversion made the score 14-0 at halftime.
With 4:34 left in the 3rd period, Sifferman had his longest run of the night. He took the ball left, cut back to the middle, then weaved between defenders to go 74 yards to the end zone, and Republic led 20-0.
Republic scored again on a 12-yard pass from Williams to Jalen Metsch, and extended their lead to 26-0.
Willard finally answered with its only extended drive, and scored to cut the lead to 26-7.
But Republic answered one more time. Sophomore quarterback Nathan Strobel hit Eli Minor in the back corner of the end zone for a final score, making the score 32-7.
(Thanks to Rodger Wheeler for help with the stats tonight!)