Trojans Suffer Homecoming Setback in MSFA Opener
UPLAND, Ind. – A sluggish start put Taylor in a 21-point deficit early into Saturday’s Homecoming clash with Siena Heights and the Trojans suffered a 48-26 loss to open their Mid-States Football Association Mideast League schedule.
A miscue on the opening kick put TU on its heels, as the Trojans failed to corral the kickoff and Siena Heights pounced on the ball at the 11-yard line. SHU (4-2, 2-0 MSFA) scored six plays later and added touchdowns on two of its next three possessions to build a 21-0 cushion by the 12:33 mark of the second quarter.
After mustering only 19 yards of offense in the opening quarter and just one completed pass, Taylor got things going with 135 yards in the second quarter. Everett Pollard led the surge by completing eight-of-nine passes in the period, while rushing for one score and passing for another.
The Trojans countered the three early scores from Siena Heights with a trio of second-quarter touchdowns, but a blocked point-after attempt and a failed two-point conversion sent TU to the half facing a 21-19 deficit.
Taylor moved in front midway through the third quarter, 26-21, on a 13-play scoring march that ended with a Drew LeFever one-yard dive with 7:09 to play in the period.
TU would not maintain the momentum however, as SHU reclaimed the lead on the next possession and went on to score the final 27 points of the contest to pull away for the 48-26 win.
Dovi Gamble provided two of the few highlights for the Trojans, as the special teams ace added the 15th and 16th blocked kicks of his career. Gamble blocked a punt inside the SHU 20-yard line to set up TU’s second score of the contest and later blocked a field goal in the third quarter to momentarily keep Taylor within two points. In addition to the two blocks, Gamble added eight tackles and one quarterback pressure.
Jace LaMunyon led the squad with 11 tackles, while Nate Phillips picked up eight stops and Jeremy Ramirez registered TU’s lone sack of the contest.
The offense was paced once again by seven catches from Grant Hohlbein, including TU’s lone touchdown reception of the afternoon. Pollard ended 20-of-35 for 184 yards and the one score and LeFever rushed for two scores.
Taylor (2-3, 0-1 MSFA) will play on the road next Saturday, October 14, when it heads to Indianapolis for a meeting with No.13 Marian (3-2, 0-1 MSFA).