Taylor football ended their season with a 38-26 win on Nov. 16 against Lawrence Technological University at Turner Stadium. With this victory, Taylor closed their season at 3-7 overall.
Before the game, seniors Spencer Crisp, Jackson Bronkema, Mark Baker and James Haverkamp joined their parents on the midfield to be honored. According to Baker, being a senior has given him a new appreciation of everyone on or involved with the team.
“(Being a senior), you realize how everyone on the team is needed and is vital to the success of the team,” Baker said.
Early in the first quarter, junior Zac Saltzgaber ran a 7-yard rush for a touchdown, putting the Trojans in the lead 7-0.
With a little less than five minutes remaining for the first quarter, Saltzgaber scored another touchdown for the Trojans. This gave the Trojans a 14-0 lead.
Taylor continued to blow past Lawrence Tech’s defense, maintaining their lead in the second quarter.
During the second quarter with 10:15 left on the clock, sophomore Caden Hilliard scored a touchdown, the first of his college career, bringing the score to 21-0.
Saltzgaber said this was a highlight of Saturday’s game for him.
“Watching Justin Fath and Caden Hilliard get their first touchdowns was really cool,” Saltzgaber said.
Lawrence Tech began gaining on the Trojans in the third quarter, as the Blue Devils scored a touchdown with 4:31 left.
The score was 21-6 by the end of the quarter.
Twenty-nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Taylor scored another touchdown, leaving Lawrence Tech in the dust with a score of 28-6.
Lawrence Tech later scored a touchdown against the Trojans with 11:34 remaining, putting the score at 28-13.
With 6:36 left on the clock, the scoreboard read 31-13 thanks to freshman Zane Shilts making a 33-yard field goal attempt.
Roughly three minutes later, junior Justin Fath scored his first ever touchdown for the Trojans.
Lawrence Tech tried to catch up by scoring two touchdowns within the last 50 seconds but the damage was already done.
This victory for the Trojans marks the end of a tough season. Baker said not winning more games was his biggest regret of the season.
“The win-lose column, it’s not the way we wanted it to go,” Baker said. “Sometimes, it’s about the journey, contributing to the journey.”
Saltzgaber said their goal this season was to be competitive in their conference and to him, the team had been somewhat successful in that area.
Despite the team’s struggles on the field, they have been more than successful in their relationships with each other. Saltzgaber and Baker both said the biggest highlight of the season for them was the family dynamic shared among the team.
“It’s more than just a team, it becomes a brotherhood; it is much like a family,” Saltzgaber said.
For Baker and the other seniors, their college football career is over, but for the others, this is just the beginning. The Trojans will take the offseason to regroup and prepare for the 2020 season.