Gamble Sparks Trojans to MSFA Crossover Win Against TIU
UPLAND, Ind. – Dovi Gamble’s 14th career block opened the scoring for Taylor and the Trojans never trailed en route to a 33-19 win over Trinity International on the Turner Stadium turf Saturday night.
The Taylor defense stopped TIU on its first possession of the contest and Gamble’s blocked punt attempt was scooped up and trotted in from seven yards out by Cameron Gray for the fast, 7-0, TU lead.
The Trojans added a 38-yard touchdown pass from Everett Pollard to Nicholas Lamica for a 13-6 lead and reclaimed a 19-13 spread on a two-yard touchdown run from Spencer Crisp midway through the second quarter.
Taylor nearly doubled Trinity International in time of possession throughout the opening half but could not put the game out of reach due to a plague of penalties that helped keep the game close. TU committed nine fouls in the opening half, costing the Trojans 73 yards in the opening 30 minutes.
Despite the penalties, Gamble ensured that the Trojans would go to the intermission with a lead by pulling down his seventh career interception to end TIU’s final drive of the half in the end zone and send Taylor to the intermission with the six-point edge.
The Trojans cleaned up their play on both sides of the ball in the third quarter, dominating play and outgaining the guests by a 113-36 margin. Taylor pushed the gap to 27-13 on its first touch of the period, with Pollard finding Grant Hohlbein for a 10-yard score and Spence plunging in for the two-point conversion with 8:20 to play in the third.
TU gained a 33-13 cushion on its next possession, taking 8:39 of game time off the clock on a 16-play, 86-yard touchdown march. Crisp closed the extended drive with a seven-yard touchdown scamper to open up the 20-point gap with 12:06 to play.
Trinity International (1-3) tried to claw its way back into the contest and used a fumble recovery and a successful onside kick attempt to draw within two scores, but Taylor closed out the 33-19 win.
Pollard was nearly flawless on the night under center for TU, completing 23-of-28 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns without tossing an interception. Pollard also helped the Trojans convert 10-of-14 third down plays and guided TU to touchdowns on each of its three trips into the red zone.
Hohlbein led all TU receivers once again, matching a career-high with nine receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. Daniel Boy and Kyle Kempton were also busy with four catches each, while Lamica ended the contest with three catches and the touchdown.
Crisp continued his strong play as TU’s key cog in the ground game, rattling off a career-high 110 yards and mixing in two scores among his 29 touches.
Jackson Bronkema and Jace LaMunyon paced the balanced defensive attack for Taylor with a team-leading seven stops, while Alex Anderson added 1.5 sacks and Cameron Gray turned in four quarterback hurries.
Gamble highlighted the night however, picking up five tackles to go with the blocked punt, an interception in the end zone and one pass breakup.
The victory was the 47th for Taylor head coach Ron Korfmacher and moved the 10th-year coach to within a single win of matching TU Hall-of-Famer Bob Davenport (1957-1968) as the program’s all-time wins leader.
Korfmacher and the Trojans (2-1) will go for that historic win when they take the field in Chicago against No. 11 Saint Xavier (3-1) at 1:00 pm on September 30 in a second-straight Mid-States Football Association crossover showdown.