Blakelee Steeb | Echo
Last Saturday, Taylor football traveled to Chicago with high hopes of competing with St. Xavier, the No. 13-ranked team in the nation. They achieved their goal, but fell short at the completion of the game, losing 24-20.
The Trojans suffered a 10 point deficiency at the beginning of the game when SXU scored in their first two possessions - one touchdown and one field goal. The Cougars were also successful in halting Taylor's response on a first-and-goal from the one-yard line.
"If we scored a touchdown the first time we got to the red zone, the game may have been different," said sophomore running back Spencer Crisp. "It would have helped us win."
Taylor may have started slow, but they quickly redeemed themselves by forcing a fumble on a home team reception. Senior defensive back Jace LaMunyon retrieved the ball 73 yards away from the Trojan end zone.
A mere six plays later, Crisp was able to bring the ball in for a touchdown and make the score 10-7.
The score was not stagnant throughout the rest of the half, however. An interception led to another scoring opportunity for the Cougars. They capitalized on it and made the score 17-7 right before the completion of the first half.
"We were getting the ball first at the beginning of the second half," said head coach Ron Korfmacher. "The focus was to score first. We want to be the first team on the scoreboard."
The turnover trend followed both teams into the third quarter when senior defensive end Alex Anderson recovered a fumble and allowed his offense to pounce on the Cougars which changed the score to 17-14.
Saint Xavier responded with a touchdown on their next possession and kept the Trojans 10 points behind until senior wide receiver Grant Hohlbein marched the ball in to score after a 14 play drive.
Time elapsed and the game ended with a four point Trojan deficit, but they walked away with much more than a loss - lessons learned and confidence that the team can compete with anyone.
"This game leaves a bad taste in our mouths," said Anderson. "I think it will help us come out and fight even harder to get the win."
The Trojans will be fighting for their win tomorrow at Turner Stadium for Homecoming and Family Weekend. The team's first league game is slated for 1 p.m. against Siena Heights.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"