Trojans Battle to End in Road Defeat at No. 9 USF
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Taylor played its second-straight road game against a top-10 foe to open the 2021 spring season, this time heading north to take on No. 9 Saint Francis in a competitive affair that saw the Cougars come alive late for a 24-10 victory.
Taylor matched the Cougars throughout much of the afternoon, using a 14-play scoring drive on its second possession of the afternoon to put three points on the board. Zane Shilts capped the march with a 37-yard field goal for the early 3-0 Trojan lead.
USF (1-0) answered with a field goal on its next touch and the two sides remained locked at 3-3 at the end of the opening half, thanks to a key strip and recovery from Sam Bartu to deny a USF scoring opportunity.
The TU defense came up with another stop to open the third but a fumble deep in its own territory set up a Saint Francis touchdown on the next snap. A quick three-and-out from Taylor was followed by another USF touchdown that pushed the hosts’ lead to 17-3.
Taylor hit back on its next possession, sparking the drive with a 42-yard connection from Zac Saltzgaber to Drew Bagley and drawing within 17-10 on a one-yard rush to the end zone from Saltzgaber.
That would be as close as the Trojans would get, as Saint Francis scored on its third-straight possession and held on for the 24-10 decision.
Saltzgaber’s one-yard touchdown dive was TU’s lone touchdown of the afternoon. The senior quarterback also completed eight passes for 118 yards.
The Taylor defense was led by 11 tackles and two hits for lost yardage by Jacob Hockett, with Sam Bolin and Major Dailey each adding nine stops. Josh Saltzgaber was also active with eight tackles.
TU held Saint Francis to 148 yards through the air and to just two-of-12 on third-down conversions, but the Cougars rushed for 10 first downs on the ground to remain in control.
Taylor (0-2) is set to play its first home game of the spring on Saturday, March 13, with a 1:00 pm start inside Turner Stadium against Madonna (0-0).