WARDSVILLE - Tipton looked about how you'd expect a Class 1 team to look against a pair of powerhouses from higher classifications.
Tipton, a state semifinalist in 2012, and a powerhouse in its own right, struggled with Blair Oaks and Centralia in a Jamboree Friday night at the Falcon Athletic Complex, falling by a combined 24-0 score.
"If you were to see us next week against a Class 1 team, we're going to look a lot better than what we did against the other two," Tipton head football coach Tony Braby said. "We're not going to face two defenses like that until we get into the playoffs. We'll look a lot sharper against teams our own size. The fact that we played a Class 3 and Class 2, I'm very excited how we did.
"Jamborees are what they are. Our guys were nervous. We had a lot of first-time players stepping on the field, had a lot of mental mistakes."
Tipton opened with Blair Oaks, the Class 2 runner-up in 2012, and dropped a 6-0 decision.
The Cardinals couldn't get much going offensively, managing just a pair of first downs in its 18 plays against the Falcons. The highlight was new quarterback Dylan Cooper rushing twice for 17 yards.
The defense held its own, allowing just the one score and even recovering a fumble. Braxton Hazelton came up with the loose ball.
"Defense is way ahead of the offense, which I was pleased about that," Braby said.
Blair Oaks' lone score came on its third play, as Jordan Hair hit Haydn Lock down the left sideline for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
"We're in your face pressing and going and we gave up a touchdown," Braby said. "We had decent coverage, but they made a good pass and good catch and we gave up a touchdown on that. But overall I liked the fact that our kids were moving well, tackling well. I thought we held our own defensively, except for a couple of big plays."
Things got even tougher against Centralia, a Class 3 squad that advanced to the round of 16 last season before falling to state semifinalist California, as Tipton lost 18-0.
"Centralia has a program that's off the charts," Braby said. "They're bringing back eight kids on both sides of the ball."
David Richardson had strong showing against Centralia, recovering a fumble and ripping off what would have been a 22-yard touchdown run had it not been called back on a penalty.
"We had some opportunities, some dropped passes and some opportunities that might have created a little bit more momentum," Braby said.
Centralia's three scores came on a pair of touchdown runs from quarterback Logan Armontrout (20 and 19 yards, respectively) and a 40-yard scamper from Ethan Leighton.
"We were pretty vanilla," Braby said. "We didn't get too carried away. We got some things that we didn't show that we'll be really good at. Overall, we don't have a (former star running back) Dallas Peoples yet. We'll be OK. We're not quite there offensively, and defense is just a natural get to the ball and get there fast. I think we'll be able to sub quite a bit on defense, and offense I don't know we can do that yet.
"Overall, we came through this somewhat healthy. Got a little contusion on the shoulder with my quarterback Dylan Cooper."
Tipton, which owns a 68-game regular-season winning streak, opens the season at 7 p.m. next Friday with a home game against Sacred Heart.