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Trojans show improvement, fall to 0-3 this season

September 13, 2018
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Improvement was shown by the South Tama Trojans in Friday's contest with Bondurant-Farrar on September 7. The Trojans were able put some points on the board and showed a stronger defensive stance but ultimately fell to the Blue Jays 42-21 for an 0-3 start to the season.

"This year's team has a lot of nice guys. That's great to have but at the same time you've got to be a little rude and have a little thunder in you when you play football," said coach Nate Doran.

The evening was wrought with penalties. STC had eight, Bondurant-Farrar nine and by the end of the night the Trojans had let their emotions get the best of them. Before the fourth quarter, however, it was anyone's game.

Article Photos

The STC Trojans on defense with a glorius sunset backdrop at Bondurant-Farrar on Friday, September 7. The Trojans fall 42-21 to the Blue Jays.
Inside Iowa Today/Allison Graham

STC received the ball to start the night but were held to a quick three and out by the Blue Jays defense. The Blue Jays went to work and scored after just five plays with a 10 yard carry by Jordan Collins and an extra point by Oskar White for a 7-0 lead. White was 6 for 6 in PAT attempts.

The Blue Jay lead was quite short lived as STC quarterback Drake Crawford found an opening on the right side of the field and ran for a 72 yard touchdown. The play was a much needed confidence booster for Crawford who is in his first season as a varsity starter for the Trojans. The Trojans PAT attempt was no good but the Blue Jays were called for a roughing the kicker penalty. STC set up for a two point conversion attempt and Crawford found Payton Vest for the completion. The Trojans took their first lead of the season 8-7.

The Trojan defense was able to hold the Blue Jays for a three and out on their next possession. STC was deep in their own territory following a punt by Nyanti Gehrke. The Blue Jays were able to take advantage of the Trojans' field position. With Crawford receiving pressure he dropped back into the end zone and fumbled the ball. The Blue Jays pounced on the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown and quickly extended their lead to 14-8 after an extra point by White.

Shaking off that series of unfortunate incidents the Trojans reclaimed the lead in the second quarter. Vest worked on the ground while Crawford connected with Keahna throughout the series to work the ball down the field. A pitch to Vest from Crawford put the Trojans in the end zone. Uriel Martinez kicked the extra point for a 15-14 lead.

Once again the Blue Jays used opportunities to make the Trojans lead short lived. This time Bondurant-Farrar's Christian Conn scored off a kickoff return. Conn totaled 110 rushing yards on the night and will be a factor for their offense the rest of the way. The Blue Jays went into halftime with a 21-15 lead.

"First half positives are we played together. We found some weaknesses of theirs and exposed them. Defensively we stepped up. We started tackling in the back. We wrapped. We knew what was going on and we understood," said coach Nate Doran.

After returning from halftime Bondurant-Farrar wasted no time to extend their lead. The Blue Jays relied largely on their ground game and workhorse quarterback Nyanti Gehrke who racked up 166 rushing yards. Gehrke, who was the starting running back for the Blue Jays last season before stepping into the quarterback role, found his way to the end zone for a touchdown.

The Blue Jays held STC scoreless in their first offensive possession of the half. Gehrke once again helped further the Blue Jays lead to 35-15.

South Tama scored their final touchdown of the evening with just under 2 1/2 minutes in the third quarter. The Trojans capitalized on a botched punt from Bondurant-Farrar deep in their own territory. It was a wild chase for the ball as it bounced from person to person as both teams scrambled to recover.

The Trojans had one more opportunity to put up some points late in the fourth quarter. STC had marched to the goal line but the Trojans attempts to punch into the end zone were ultimately called short by the referees. This resulted in frustrations boiling over during the Blue Jays final offensive series. Things got a bit chippy on the field and some pushing and shoving ensued. The Trojans walked away from the moments of chaos with two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

"There's a difference between being tough and being dumb. We chose to be tough but we did it in a dumb way. We let our emotions get the best of us. A teammate was fighting for his teammate. His head was in the right place but the way he did it was not the correct way," said Doran.

Bondurant-Farrar finished the evening with a 42-21 win and extends their record to 2-1.

South Tama (0-3) will host Nevada (1-2) on Friday, September 14.

STC Stats

Passing - Crawford 10-19 for 119 yards

Rushing - Vest 8-43, Crawford 11-34, Walz 11-19

Receiving - Keahna 5-72, Vest 3-23, Walz 1-20, Beltz 1-4

Tackles - Keahna 8, Vest 6, Knode 4, Waseskuk 4, Branan 3, Walz 3, Horne 2, Lasley 2, Wanatee 2, Wiese 2, Beltz 1, Kellogg 1, Padilla 1, Upah 1

Fumble Recoveries - Branan 1, Keahna 1

PAT Kicking - Martinez 1-3

Kickoffs - Walz 4-133

Punting - Keahna 4-116

Kickoff Returns - Vest 3-83, Lasley 2-43

Punt Returns Vest 1



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