Solomon Titus rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries to power the Leonard Tigers to a 35-21 football playoff victory over Blooming Grove on Friday.
Titus scored on dashes of 57, 36 and 1 yard as the 9-3 Tigers claimed the Class 2A Division II area playoff. Leonard advances to the regional round to play District 7-2A rival S&S Consolidated in a rematch. S&S slipped by Leonard 22-16 at Leonard on Nov. 8. S&S won its area playoff over Tolar, 28-6.
Titus put Leonard ahead for good with 8:34 remaining on a 1-yard run that was set up by Jon Rosenbaum’s interception returned to the Blooming Grove 39. Leonard quarterback Justin Bennett then raced 27 yards to position Titus for the touchdown.
Leonard drove 57 yards for an insurance touchdown with 5:57 remaining. Titus ran for gains of 7 and 20 yards before Bennett finished off the drive with a 17-yard run with 5:57 remaining. Ty McKinney booted his fifth extra point for Leonard.
Blooming Grove answered Titus’ 57-yard touchdown run with an 83-yard scoring drive wrapped up by a 4-yard run from Brandon Hays.
Leonard went back up 14-7 following a Blooming Grove fumble at the Tiger 37. Bennett fired a 12-yard touchdown pass to Colson Coheley.
Blooming Grove tied it at 14-14 with a 44-yard scoring drive. Tyler Ellis fired a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Wilsford.
The Lions grabbed a 21-14 lead with an 80-yard drive as Tyler Morris ran in from four yards for the score.
Leonard answered with a 76-yard drive as Titus bolted 36 yards for the touchdown.
Blooming Grove finishes with a 7-5 record. — Reported by Johnny McKinney.