Cougars fall in first outing since 2014


A new era of football began at Trinity Lutheran High School Friday night.

For the first time since 2014 — under their new lights – the team kicked off on their campus.

The Cougars played host to Indianapolis Tindley on Friday night.

Despite playing a solid first half, the Tigers took control in the second as the Cougars lost 44-0.

The scoreboard may not have been what Cougars players and fans wanted, but that wasn’t enough to dampen the mood that Trinity football made its way back.

“It was absolutely awesome, the community support for Trinity football was fantastic,” Trinity head coach Mike Wilson said .

The Cougars’ stands were full and many were standing along the fence line to watch.

Trinity started the game with the ball on their own 37-yard line. After a few carries for small yardage, senior quarterback Jacob Rowe handed the ball to freshman running back Tyler Goecker and Goecker took off for a 15-yard run to secure the Cougars’ first first down.

The Cougars continued to punch the ball downfield behind strong passes from Rowe to Goecker and carries by junior Kyle Juback. The Cougars quickly made it into the redzone and to the five yard line.

Then the offense stalled and the Cougars gave up the ball on downs.

That was as close as the Cougars would come the rest of the night.

The Cougars’ defense played a solid first quarter and half.

On the Tigers’ first drive, the Cougars’ defense only gave up one first down and forced three incomplete passes in a row to force a punt.

With the ball on their own 26, the Cougars went three-and-out and were forced to punt themselves.

The Cougars defense stepped up again, only giving up two first downs before forcing the Tigers to give up the ball on downs by tackling sophomore quarterback RJ Lyons well short of the first down early in the second quarter with the game still scoreless.

The Tigers were able to capitalize and score their first touchdown of the game after a 36-yard reception from Lyons to senior wide receiver Jermaine McFadden. Keyon Crosby was able to punch in a one-yard run for the first touchdown and junior Andrew Knox caught a pass from Lyons to complete the two-point conversion.

After trading possessions, the score remained 8-0 at the half.

“We had our opportunities in the first half,” Wilson said. “We had a several drives where we were moving down the field, but we couldn’t push it through and that’s what we have to get better at.”

The Tigers responded with a 20-yard pass from Lyons to McFadden and then a 21-yard run from Destan Gilbert to score with 8:32 left in the third quarter.

The two-point conversion was good to put the Tigers up 16-0.

Wilson said that is when he began to notice his team slowing down.

The Tigers used six plays to score their next touchdown. The touchdown was scored on a 17-yard catch from Lyons to Gilbert. Lyons then ran the ball to complete the two conversion, giving the Tigers the 24-0 advantage with 2:13 remaining in the third.

The Tigers would strike exactly a minute later when Trinity fumbled the ball on their own 12 yard line. The Tigers recovered and on the next play gave Gilbert the ball for the score. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, giving them a 30-0 advantage.

Trinity turned the ball over on downs inside the red zone and the Tigers scored off a pass from Lyons to Knox before scoring on a 32-yard run from Gilbert that was set up by a 66-yard run from Simms to give the Tigers their 44-0 victory.

Wilson said his message to the team following the disappointing and big loss was that how they responded to it was what would count.

“I just told them that it’s not about how they went down, but how they get back up,” he said.

Wilson said he also wanted to convey that Trinity football is more than just the sport itself and that they’re playing for something bigger than themselves.

“Trinity football is about more than just football,” Wilson said. “Trinity football is about faith, family and football and we want to talk to them and make sure that football teaches them life lessons and life will knock you down, but it’s about how you get up and my guy’s didn’t go down tonight. They fought hard until the end.”

Wilson said the team has little depth on its 23-man roster, which means the team has many players playing both offense and defense.

Wilson said he was still saw that the team was doing things fundamentally sound as most were in position, but just not being able to square up quick enough on defense. He said those things make him excited for the future.

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