Blakelee Steeb | Echo
Last Saturday, Taylor's football team tackled their way to victory in their 2017 campaign opener against Malone. The final score - 28-21 - was a good way to kick off the season, but there are certainly improvements to be made.
"Every layer of offense and defense contributed to the win," said head coach Ron Korfmacher. "But by the same token, everybody has improvements to make."
One of these improvements is better execution. The defense let Malone score on their first drive, giving their fans false hopes of a victory. However, the Trojans redeemed themselves by letting grit and the motivation to play as a team push them to recover a fumble and turn it into seven points on the scoreboard.
The score remained tied until just before halftime, when Taylor had a 98-yard drive to the end zone.
This 98-yard drive wasn't the end of the Trojan performance. Taylor went on to score two more touchdowns, making the score 28-7. However, after they scored four unanswered touchdowns, the pressure to keep the lead was now on the defense.
"The defense gave up points really early, but the offense scored and had our back," said junior Tyler Gerig. "I think that gave us the confidence to move forward and know that it was under control."
According to Korfmacher, as the season progresses, the offense and defense need to continue to rely on each other to ensure each game is a team effort.
Confidence that the offense would have their back was exactly what the Trojan defense needed. The Pioneers were held at a mere 7 points until they answered with another two touchdowns near the end of the game.
Although the score was tight, the players were able to play level-headed football, which helped them defeat Malone.
Turner Stadium held a near-capacity crowd. The large crowd contributed to the energy. The team expects more of this this season.
"The atmosphere of the game was awesome," said senior Grant Hohlbein. "We had a great turnout of fans, and we love to see that."
Trojan football is on a bye week this week. Taylor every year has a bye week, which is a week where they have no game and are given more time to prepare for their next game.
The team is encouraged by their performance this weekend, but each practice needs to be better than the last so they can compete with the upcoming opponents.
This week, the team will be focusing on fundamentals such as ball security, tackling and blocking. Once the simple fundamental errors are polished, the team will start focusing on their next opponent - Butler University. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 in Indianapolis.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"