EyeOfTheTiger's Avatar
The Tigers have reached the halfway point of their season. It is a good time to assess where the Tigers are and what the prospects are for the rest of this 2014 season.

As the season opened, there were high hopes for the 2014 Tigers. They returned nearly all their starters. The off season workouts were as good or better then they had ever been. The team had great work ethic and comraderie. The first two scrimmages versus 5A Conner and Ohio D3 Goshen were blowouts and this team entered the season with confidence high. However, Ohio D2 top ten Mt. Healthy was awaiting. The Tigers preseason success was pushed aside as the Mt. Healthy Owls used their talent and a couple big plays to put Beechwood in a big hole by halftime. Beechwood stormed back in the second half and nearly pulled off the huge come from behind upset before finally falling 40-34.

Considering the opponent they had just played, the Tigers felt they were ready and able to get a win in game 2 versus 6A Dixie Heights. The Colonels had suffered a lopsided loss in their opener versus a very highly thought of Covington Catholic team. Beechwood had to enter this game believing they could get a win despite it being a 1A vs. 6A matchup. Dixie however proved that their opening loss was not a true indicator of who they are. They used their power at the line of scrimmage and read option runs of QB Drew Moore to roll over Beechwood 48-21. At the time, this loss looked bad. Questions were raised about how good this Tiger team really is. We know now that Dixie Heights is one of the best 6A teams in the state and Beechwood's offense getting 21 points against them is one of the best performances any offense has put up against Dixie Heights all year.

Next up on the schedule was 2A Holy Cross. This was a good opponent for the Tigers to right the ship against, get back to preseason form and prepare for a run of large school games that follow. The Tigers took care of business downing Holy Cross 58-0

Now it was top ten 5A Franklin County. Beechwood was still smarting from how they had Franklin Co. beaten the previous year and let it slip away in the fourth quarter. The Tigers needed to prove something in this game. With two losses versus tough, large school opponents, the Tigers needed to prove to themselves that they can beat the big boys. These games tell Beechwood what their chances are of winning a state title as this is the type of opponent they will face at the end of the playoffs. Plus, Franklin County had beaten Frankfort the week before. Frankfort was ranked #2 in 1A at the time and is the team that knocked Beechwood out of the playoffs the previous year, keeping Beechwood out of the 1A final four for the first time in the 6 class era. Beechwood took all that pent up energy and desire and took it out on Franklin County. The Tigers put on an overwhelming performance defeating Franklin Co. 42-13. In two short weeks, the Tigers went from the low of the Dixie loss to the high of one of their best wins since winning their last state title in 2008.

The Tigers were flying high from their win over the Flyers and welcomed an always talented Holmes Bulldogs team in game 5. This game has given the Tigers some trouble in the past few years and it sits right on the schedule where it can be a trap game, with Covington Catholic up the next week. There was no trap in this one though as Beechwood rolled easily to a 49-7 win.

And now it was here - the game every Tiger player, fan and coach wants to win more than any other during the regular season - Covington Catholic. With many players knowing each other since pee wee football days, this truly is a neighborhood rivalry. Beechwood had threatened in recent years but was not able to make the plays to get a win. This game in some ways parallels the Tigers success, and lack thereof, over the past 7 years. The last win for Beechwood happened the last time Beechwood won a title in 2008. The close but not quite enough nature of this game also describes what has happened to the Tigers in the playoffs over the past 7 years. Beechwood wanted this game. They needed this game to prove to themselves that they truly are capable of getting another title. Beechwood came out on the opening drive and ran the ball right at the Colonels going in for an opening drive score. That drive set the tone for the entire game. Beechwood was able to control the line of scrimmage against a big school opponent. The Tigers made big play after big play on both sides of the ball and in special teams to finally get over the hump with a 28-13 win. It was an impressive win mostly because of the way Beechwood won it - dominating the play from start to finish and winning the battle up front.

There was no letdown the next week as Beechwood opened district play versus their biggest district threat, the Bellevue Tigers. It was an ugly night for football with rain throughout. It always seems to be rainy when Beechwood plays Bellevue. Beechwood broke out their running game and pounded Bellevue to the final score of 41-18.

The Tigers have two district games left then the closing rivalry game versus Newport Central Catholic. The resume of this Tigers team at 5-2 with 2 nice wins over ranked big school opponents says this Tiger team has the talent to win a title. But talent alone does not win. The teams they will face at the end of the playoffs will have as much talent or perhaps more. Beechwood has seen that in the past 5 titleless seasons. There is always another team with as much talent. It takes every player and coach playing together as a team and making the plays at crunch time to win those games that get you a title. Beechwood has shown they can do that. Now they need to perfect it and repeat it. A title is clearly within their reach. Good luck to the Tigers in the second half of this season. It is title time.