Blakelee Steeb | Echo
Last Saturday, the Taylor football team finished their season with a 21-13 victory against Missouri Baptist and made their final record 4-6. The triumph added another win to the team's record and gave head coach Ron Korfmacher his 49th win.
Korfmacher surpassed Taylor Hall of Famer, Bob Davenport, and ascended to the top of the list for having the most wins for the Trojans. While he feels his achievement is important, he was more concerned about getting the victory for the senior class.
"What was really pivotal was winning the last game and having the seniors go out with a win," Korfmacher said. "Now we can launch into our offseason with a good, competitive finish and a win. That is what really matters."
Many people contributed to the win on Saturday, and Turner Stadium saw some new faces on the field.
Freshman quarterback Zac Saltzgaber rallied the offense in his first collegiate start. He completed 14 passes for 134 yards and rushed for all three of Taylor's touchdowns.
Freshman running back Josh Saltzgaber also produced for the Trojans. He rushed 13 times out of the backfield for a total of 61 yards.
The offense performed well, and the defense also played a key role in the victory.
Senior defensive back Jace LaMunyon sparked the defense with 11 tackles, and senior linebacker Cameron Gray followed closely behind with eight tackles and a fumble recovery to complete the game.
"Missouri Baptist is a big passing team, so they have a lot of really athletic wide receivers," said junior defensive back Derek Wanner. "With the exception of one big pass, we did a really good job of shutting them down and forcing them to run."
Senior defensive back Dovi Gamble collected his eighth collegiate interception and seven hits on the game.
Sophomore defensive back Jackson Bronkema partnered with his fellow defensive backs when he salvaged the 15-13 Taylor lead by preventing the two point scoring opportunity for Missouri Baptist with only 10 minutes left in the competition.
While saying farewell to an influential senior class of 20 men was difficult, the Trojans gave their fans hope of what is to come. Unfortunately, the team had many injuries this year, but these injuries gave other players a chance to gain experience before the seniors left, taking their expertise with them.
"Seeing a lot of freshman and teammates (who do not usually get to play) get some opportunities was really good to see," Zac Saltzgaber said. "The way the upperclassmen took them under their wing and (encouraged) everyone created a brotherhood throughout the whole season."
Throughout the offseason, the Trojans will be focusing on getting stronger and staying in shape. However, they aim to grow as individuals and build the team chemistry the seniors laid the foundation for.
While the team may not have won as many games as they would have liked they are making steps in the right direction to improve, and everyone on the team believes something great is yet to come.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"