A fun-filled homecoming weekend was capped off with a convincing Taylor football victory on Oct. 28. With almost 5,000 fans in attendance, the Taylor Trojans trounced the Madonna Crusaders 54-14 in a game that never felt close.
The rushing game led the way for Taylor as they tallied 391 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, one of which was senior offensive lineman Clay Adams on a lateral trick play.
“It felt pretty great,” Adams said. “We knew the situation we wanted to run it, so if that opportunity presented itself, Coach Mingo was going to call it.”
Two other players who impacted the ground game were junior running back Jacob Cleaver and freshman running back Kyle Turanchick. Cleaver rushed the ball six times for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Turanchick had only three carries, he made each run count and finished with 102 yards and two touchdowns.
“I got the opportunity to run the ball a little bit on Saturday and so I was just focused on making the most of it and relying on the instincts and skills that I have developed as a player,” Turanchick said.
Another freshman that made an impact was wide receiver JJ Payne. He had three receptions for 54 yards and also caught his first collegiate touchdown.
Sitting in the pocket was sophomore quarterback Damon Hockett, who had a very productive night for the Trojans. Hockett threw for 123 yards and one touchdown while completing 10 of his 17 passes.
On the defensive side of the ball, Taylor stifled the Crusaders, and three separate Trojans each ended the game with a sack.
Senior linebacker Jacob Hockett, sophomore defensive back Levi Brown and senior defensive lineman Braxton Green all brought down Madonna quarterback Johnathan Rentrope while senior linebacker Aven Jones led the team in tackles with 13.
“Winning is always fun, but I am more proud of how our team continues to show resilience,” Adams said. “It would have been pretty easy to coast throughout the second half of that game, but our team has a decided heart that what we are doing here is bigger than just winning.”
Taylor will be closing out the season at home on Nov. 11 versus the University of St. Francis (Ind.) (4-4) at 1 PM.