TOP-RANKED SAINT FRANCIS TOPS TAYLOR IN MSFA ACTION
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Top-ranked Saint Francis handed the Taylor football team its fifth consecutive road loss on Saturday, as the Cougars topped Taylor, 40-20, in Mid-States Football Association Mideast League action.
The afternoon did not start as Taylor had hoped, as USF’s Justin Green took the opening kickoff and scampered 96 yards for a touchdown to give Saint Francis a 6-0 advantage.
Taylor (3-6, 1-4 MSFA) responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive on the ensuing possession, highlighted by a 47-yard pass from Everett Pollard to Nicholas Lamica that set up a two-yard touchdown run by Spencer Crisp, as TU moved into the lead at 7-6.
The Trojans stopped Saint Francis on downs on the next possession but were forced to punt the ball back to the Cougars following a three-and-out. The TU defense continued its strong play by forcing a Saint Francis punt on the next possession.
Taylor took over in the shadow of its own goal line and managed a pair of first downs, before Pollard fumbled and Saint Francis recovered at the Taylor 27-yard line. Green capitalized on the turnover on USF’s first offensive play following the turnover, as he sprinted into the end zone. The Cougars’ two-point conversion failed but Saint Francis reclaimed the lead at 12-7.
Following another TU punt, the Saint Francis offense reeled off 59 yards in four plays, adding another touchdown to push the USF lead to 19-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Saint Francis (10-0, 6-0 MSFA) added touchdowns in the second, third, and fourth quarters, while TU did not score again until a pair of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
The top passing offense in the NAIA, led by quarterback Nick Farrer, finished with 279 yards through the air, while Green paced the Cougar ground attack with 148 yards on 18 carries.
Taylor tallied 301 yards through the air, with Pollard completing 20-of-30 passes for 148 yards, while Zac Saltzgaber added 116 yards on eight-of-nine passing and Matt Box finished four-for-seven for 37 yards.
The Trojans struggled to establish any running game, finishing with 81 rushing yards on 36 attempts. Box led the way for Taylor with 21 yards, while Saltzgaber tallied 16 yards and two scores on five carries.
The Taylor defense did force four turnovers on Saturday with Jace LaMunyon forcing two fumbles. Hunter Brooks, Jordan Bostic, and Josh Lamica each recovered a USF fumble and Jeff Kaczarek hauled in an interception for the Trojans.
The Trojans will close out the season next Saturday when TU hosts Missouri Baptist at 1:00 pm inside Turner Stadium. The Trojans will be celebrating the 70-year history of Taylor Football during next Saturday’s game.