Trinity Lutheran football team drops season-opener at home


With only four seniors on a roster of 19, Trinity Lutheran’s young football team competed under the Friday night lights for the first time.

A handful of penalties and a couple of interceptions resulted in the Cougars falling behind 14-0 by halftime of Friday’s season-opener at home.

An early touchdown by Tindley in the third quarter widened the gap.

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Trinity was able to find the end zone twice, but it wasn’t enough, losing 27-14.

“We didn’t do a (preseason) scrimmage, which sort of, I think, hurt us a little bit,” Cougars coach Mike Wilson said. “I think the second quarter of the first half, we started imposing some will and moving the ball pretty good. We’re excited about all of the young kids who actually stepped up and did a really fantastic job.”

After Trinity turned the ball over on downs on the opening possession, Tindley marched from its own 9-yard line and scored on the 10th play of the drive.

Tigers sophomore quarterback Zakarie Johnson had six rushes for 87 yards during that span, including a 3-yard touchdown at 5:51. Juan Boyzo’s kick was good for a 7-0 lead.

Cougars sophomore quarterback Tyler Goecker had a pair of passes intercepted the remaining of the quarter.

In the second quarter, he was hit while punting the ball, and the Cougars got the ball back. They went from their own 28-yard line to the Tigers’ 36 until turning the ball over on downs.

Both teams had passes intercepted, and then Trinity was forced to punt. Three plays later, with 14 seconds remaining in the half, Jackson stretched out to catch a pass from Ronald Lyons in the back right corner of the end zone. Another kick by Boyzo made it 14-0 at halftime.

“A couple of missed tackles, especially right there at the very end of the half, that last play, that hurt,” Wilson said. “We drove the ball up and down the field pretty well, and then we had a couple of tips that went for interceptions, so that hurt.”

Tindley scored five plays into the second half. Nick Moore’s 35-yard run put the Tigers at the 3-yard line, and he punched in on the next play at the 9:21 mark. Boyzo’s kick was off, so it was a 20-0 game.

Trinity fumbled the snap on the ensuing possession, and Tindley recovered at the Cougars’ 33-yard line. A pass interference penalty and a 15-yard run by Moore set up Kameron Jennings’ 3-yard TD run. Boyzo’s kick made it 27-0.

The Cougars started near midfield on their next possession and made it to the 6-yard line before Goecker ran in for their first score. The 2-point conversion try was deflected.

After Tindley was forced to punt, Trinity found itself at third-and-13 on the Tigers’ 36-yard line when the ball was snapped over Goecker’s head. He ran back to scoop up the ball, scrambled to his left and found Marksberry wide open downfield for a score. Lawson Woods caught a 2-point conversion pass from Goecker to make it 27-14 with 6:14 to go.

Tindley again was forced to punt. Three penalties against Trinity and an interception near the 30-yard line with 1:08 to go sealed the win for the Tigers.

Goecker led the Cougars with 13 rushes for 37 yards and was 12 for 23 passing for 160 yards. Marksberry was his top target, catching 12 passes for 134 yards.

“I’m loaded with freshmen and sophomores, so a lot of them, seven or eight, this was their first varsity game,” Wilson said. “They did an outstanding job. I’m really proud of them. It was a good team effort, but the scoreboard doesn’t reflect what we want. We’ve just got to keep working and getting better every week.”

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