Trojans Drop Season Opener To No. 2 Marian
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Zac Saltzgaber threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second half to help Taylor rebound from a rocky start, but a pair of pick-sixes late in the fourth quarter sealed the Trojans’ fate in a 37-14 loss to No. 2 Marian (2-0) in their 2021 season opener.
Saltzgaber led an eight-play, 77-yard drive for TU’s first score of the day early in the third quarter. After completing a 20-yard pass to junior tight end Preston Scott, Saltzgaber rushed for 42 yards down to the Marian nine-yard line, setting the Trojans up in the red zone. Four plays later, Scott caught his first career touchdown pass from seven yards out to cut Marian’s lead to 20-7.
The Trojans made it a one-possession game on their first drive of the fourth quarter. After a short Marian punt, freshman Brendan Lamb did the heavy lifting for Taylor, carrying the ball four times for 38 yards, including a 28-yard scamper that put the Trojans back in the red zone.
Three plays later, freshman Harrison Eckel collected his first career touchdown, an eight-yarder from Saltzgaber, to make it a 20-14 Marian advantage with 10:31 to play.
An interception put the Knights in great field position at the Trojans’ 10-yard line with 7:34 remaining, but the Taylor defense stiffened, holding Marian to a field goal.
However, two plays into the Trojans’ ensuing drive, the Knights intercepted another pass and returned it to the house, taking a 30-14 lead with 5:39 left on the clock. Marian added a little insurance with its second pick-six in as many defensive possessions just under two minutes later, securing the victory.
Lamb put together a strong debut for TU, rushing 11 times for 77 yards and a 6.9 yards per carry average, while Saltzgaber rushed for 60 yards on 15 carries. Scott collected three receptions for 30 yards to lead the receiving core, while Lamb caught two passes for 15 yards.
TJ Swore, Josh Saltzgaber, and Jordan Jackson each recorded seven tackles on defense, while Swore collected his sixth interception as a Trojan, returning it 22 yards. Major Dailey made six tackles, Luke Corsten recorded five, all solo, and Hojun Yun collected four, including a three-yard tackle for loss.
Taylor (0-1) will return to action on March 6 when it heads to Fort Wayne to take on No. 9 Saint Francis (0-0). Kickoff is slated for 12 pm.