Defense dominates in Trojan’s blowout
Girard hosted Southeast Friday night for a CNC-matchup featuring the 2-2 Trojans and 0-4 Lancers on homecoming. The Trojans more than doubled Southeast’s offensive output, and Girard set the tone on their first drive of the game.
After a third-down pass interference call against the Lancer defense, Girard capped off their first drive when Trey Eaton scored his first of two touchdowns on a 37-yard run, giving the Trojans a 7-0 lead early in the opening quarter. Eaton went for 53 yards on five carries in the first possession alone.
The Lancers responded by taking a 17-play drive to the Trojan 17-yard line, but the Girard defense held firm in the redzone when they stopped Southeast for a five-yard loss on fourth down.
Girard shot themselves in the foot when two holding penalties stalled their next drive. The first was called on the final play of the first quarter, when Eaton went for a 70-yard touchdown run, but a holding call brought the ball back. The second holding call put 24 yards of grass between the line of scrimmage and first-down marker, and the Trojans were forced to punt.
After forcing a Lancer three-and-out and forcing a punt, Girard’s Eric Wilson found the corner and ran 47 yards to set up Eaton for a four-yard touchdown. Down by 14, Southeast found themselves needing a score to stay in the game. After a crucial fourth-down conversion, Southeast was picked off by Kyler Siebert, and all momentum returned to the Trojan sideline.
Siebert’s forced turnover and a 21-yard run from Eaton spurred Girard’s third touchdown drive, capped off by a seven-yard run from Wilson. The Trojans took a 21-0 lead into the intermission.
Both defenses came out strong in the second half, as the Lancers were forced to punt before stopping the Trojans on fourth down. On their second drive of the half, the Lancers were forced to punt again after two negative plays netted by the Trojan defense.
Girard’s second drive of the half was a bruiser, spanning over five minutes of game time. The Trojans went 83 yards on 15 plays, and the drive was kept alive by a third-down run by Wilson and a fourth-down completion from Wilson to Jordan Hopson. Two plays into the fourth quarter, Wilson connected with Junior Lindbloom for a four-yard touchdown reception that put the Trojans up 28-0.
The Lancers quickly answered, taking a 58-yard run to the endzone on just the third play of their drive. Southeast converted the two-point conversion, and the lead was cut to 20 points. The Trojans closed the door to a Lancer comeback on their ensuing drive, going 59 yards in nine plays to score their final touchdown of the game, this time on a one-yard run from Camden McFarland. Girard would cruise to a 35-8 victory.
The story of the game was really the Trojan defense. The Lancers were held to just 51 yards of total offense, with 128 on the ground and 23 through the air. Without the 58-yard touchdown run, the Trojans allowed just two yards per carry on 34 Lancer rushes. The Trojans averaged an unofficial 6.75 yards per carry with 277 yards on 41 carries, and Girard completed 8-17 passes for 79 yards for a total of 356. Eaton led the rushing attack, rushing for 116 yards on 12 carries. Wilson added 83 yards on the ground on 10 carries, and he completed 7-16 passes for 73 yards. The Trojans, now 3-2, are above .500 after the first five games for the first time since 2012. Girard will travel to Frontenac next Friday. The Raiders have an identical 3-2 record and are coming off a 28-21 loss to Colgan.