By: Aaron Pyle
In the previous contest for Girard, Oct. 3, the Trojans faced an unfamiliar opponent in Logan-Rogersville (3-2). The Trojans were previous expected to play Prairie View but due to COVID-10 quarantining, the game was canceled. Against the Wildcats, the Trojans fell just short of a victory falling 28-21 putting Girard’s record at 2-3.
Following the loss, the Trojans stayed home at Frank Jameson for a battle against the Burlington Wildcats (4-1). For the Wildcats in their previous game, Oct. 2, Burlington fell to Frontenac 28-12 after going on a four-game winning streak where they outscored opponents 168-52. Last season, the Trojans defeated the Wildcats 20-16.
Girard was once again without seniors Connor Olivera, Logan Thomas, as well as junior Gage Davenport, due to COVID-19 quarantining.
After holding the Wildcats on their opening offensive drive, the Trojans drove down the field attacking in both the passing and running game. Following a fourth-down conversion, the Trojans would strike first as senior quarterback Caden Lallemand completed a 25-yard passing touchdown to senior Mason Huebner. Sophomore Garrett Humble sank the extra-point attempt as Girard led 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Soon following the Trojans’ touchdown, the Wildcats would work the ball upfield as the two-quarterback system proved to give Girard troubles. Driving down the field, the Wildcats narrowed the gap scoring on a 15-yard quarterback keeper. Burlington completed the two-point conversion as they led Girard 8-7 with just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Three minutes into the second quarter, the Wildcats offense continued its dominance in the running game scoring on another quarterback keeper for 30-yards. The two-point conversion was no good as Girard trailed 14-7.
The two scores marked the start of a run for Burlington where their team scored 36 points unanswered with Girard struggling to contain the relentless attack of the Wildcats. At halftime, the Wildcats led the Trojans 36-7.
Opening the quarter, Burlington contained to pile it on recovering a Trojans’ fumble at the one-yard line which led to the Wildcats running it in. Making the two-point conversion, the score marked 44 unanswered points for Burlington as Girard trailed 44-7 three minutes into the second half.
Following the score, the Trojans kicked it into gear on both sides of the ball. Sophomore Luke Niggemann was put in at quarterback in the third quarter providing help in the passing game. The Trojans cut the deficit in the third quarter off a two-yard run in by junior Ethan Merrell and an 8-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore Alex Coester.
Continuing the contain the Bulldogs offense, Girard once again drove the ball down the field behind efforts from Niggemann and the Trojan receivers. Midway through the final quarter, Niggemann capped off the drive running in a two-yard touchdown to put the score at 44-27 after Humble’s extra-point attempt.
From there, the Wildcats score another touchdown with just under two minutes remaining which ultimately sealed the contest for both sides. Girard fell to Burlington 52-34 putting the Trojans at 2-3 overall this season.
Looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses, the Trojans travel to Iola to face the Mustangs (2-1) Saturday, Oct. 17. Last season, in the contest between the two district foes, Girard prevailed 14-12. The Trojans look to repeat last year’s outcome in Saturday’s matchup.