By: Aaron Pyle
In the previous matchup for Girard, the Trojans fell to the Columbus Titans 26-7 which put the Trojans below .500 with a record of 1-2.
Following the loss, the Trojans stayed home for a ‘senior night’ district matchup against Anderson County (3-0). For the Bulldogs, the team has made easy work of opponents this season through their first three games outscoring the opposition 112-43. Last season, Girard and Anderson County went back and forth but the Bulldogs ended up prevailing 35-28.
On the first play of Girard’s second drive, senior Logan Thomas caught a pass from senior Caden Lallemand for a 70-yard Trojan touchdown. Sophomore Garrett Humble made the extra-point to put Girard up 7-0 with 5:12 remaining in the first quarter. The score marked the first time this season the Trojans have scored in the first quarter.
The Trojans forced the Bulldogs to a third straight three and out’s then that’s when Anderson County faked their punt attempt. The Anderson County receiver dropped the football giving the ball back to Girard putting the Trojans with great field positioning.
Senior Zac Davis scored a 29-yard touchdown with 2.6 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter following the strong defensive stand for the Trojans. Humble made the extra point to put Girard up 14-0 at the end of the first.
Penalties halted the Bulldogs’ efforts as the interior line of the Trojans’ defense stopped Anderson County’s running game. The Trojans’ defense was able to hold strong throughout much of the game.
Anderson County dropped an open pass downfield with four minutes remaining leading to a punt. On the punt, the two teams got into extracurricular activity as Coach Neal Philpot reprimanded the team. No players from Girard were ejected as one was ejected from Anderson County with 2:51 remaining in the second.
Neither offenses were able to get going in the second as defense reigned supreme. Girard led Anderson County 14-0 at halftime.
To begin the quarter, the Bulldogs broke open a run for a 40-yard run. Girard defense was able to hold Anderson County to a fourth down on the opening offensive drive of the half. The ball was intercepted two plays following the turnover on downs as the Bulldogs were set up with great field positioning.
Senior Kaden Harrison intercepted the ball on the ensuing drive for 72 yards putting Girard at the five-yard line. But the Bulldogs stood strong forcing a fumble once again retaining the football. The Girard interior line continued to give Anderson County troubles midway through the third quarter. The third quarter became a defensive battle.
Girard soon worked the ball upfield as Lallemand was able to get the passing game going. The Bulldogs struggled to hold the Trojans read-option game. The Lallemand to Thomas connection helped Girard’s offense move the ball down the field.
The Trojans went for it on 4th and 7 with two minutes remaining in the third as senior Mason Huebner catches the ball for 32 yards. Junior Ethan Merrell then ran in the ball for a 5-yard touchdown. Humble once again made the field goal going 3-3 for the night with 1:58 remaining as Girard went up 21-0.
The offense for the Bulldogs remained cold forcing Anderson to give the ball back to a red-hot Girard offense.
Sophomore Luke Niggemann was put into the game on the opening offensive drive for Girard in the fourth. Lallemand played the entire first, second and third quarter. Niggemann was put into the game midway through the first quarter for one drive.
The sophomore then threw a 22-yard pass to senior Kaden Harrison for a Trojans’ touchdown. Garrett Humble sank the extra point attempt continuing his perfect streak for the night as Girard went up 28-0.
Early in the fourth quarter, Niggemann remained connected in the passing game midway through throwing a laser to Harrison for a 52-yard gain. Merrell broke tackles on the drive with five minutes remaining which set up Girard in the red-zone.
Niggemann threw another touchdown pass for 10-yards to Huebner as 3:15 remained in the contest. Humble remained perfect putting Girard up 35-0.
After recovering a fumble on the following kickoff, sophomore Alex Coester ran in a 20-yard touchdown to add to the Trojans’ lead. Humble made the extra point attempt once again as Girard commanded the game, 41-0.
The Trojans would end up shutting out the Bulldogs 41-0 to put Girard back at .500.
Girard (2-2) moves back to .500 on the season following the victory. The Trojans will face Prairie View Friday, Oct. 2 for a ‘Homecoming’ district matchup. Girard will look to avenge last year’s game where the Buffaloes beat the Trojans 41-27.