Trojan tragedy


The Spartans made a huge recovery from last week’s loss against the Patriots, winning against the Troy Buchanan Trojans with a final score of 51-7.

Beginning with the the kick off, the Trojans launched the ball directly toward senior running back Kendall Morris, allowing the ball to fall directly into Morris’ grasp. Instantly, Morris began dashing down the field. As the Howell Central student section repeatedly roared “let’s go,” Morris performed a 90-yard sprint across the turf into the end zone, followed by an extra point, beginning the game with a score of 7-0. Several minutes later though, the Spartans fumbled and allowed the Trojans to score a touchdown, followed by an extra point, bringing the score to 7-7 by the end of the first quarter.

Morris felt the immediate touchdown at the start of the game helped get the adrenaline going for the Spartans throughout the rest of the night.

“I knew it was going to be a good game. I wanted to get the momentum going if they kicked the ball to me, and when they did, I figured once I got that touchdown — which I did — [I figured] ‘We’re going to get that momentum, and we’re not going to stop,’” said Morris. “We fumbled one time in the first series, and then they scored, but that was the only time they scored, so we kept that momentum through the entire game.”

Immediately after the second quarter began, junior quarterback Frank Davis made a 30-yard pass across the field to senior wide receiver Justin Hayden, allowing Hayden to then run the ball to earn the team another touchdown, along with the extra point, taking the lead again with a score of 14-7. Near the latter half of the quarter, Morris made a 74-yard dash into the end zone, but failed to score a touchdown due to a sideline infraction. Refusing to succumb to the failure, The Spartans repeated the same play again and scored a second touchdown followed by an extra point, this time running 79 yards down the field instead of his previous 74.

The Spartans continued scoring points as the Trojans punted the ball and it moved out of the end zone, earning the Spartans another two points from a safety. Intensity among the fans increased in the last five seconds of the half as the Spartans stood a few yards away from the end zone. Taking the opportunity to score one more touchdown before halftime, the Spartans gave the ball to Morris for another touchdown with two seconds left in the quarter, which was then followed up by an extra point, making the mid-game score 30-7.

Morris described the way he and the team felt, near the end of the second quarter, after having made a touchdown within the last five seconds of the quarter.

“I was really worn down. We kept on punching it and punching it. We knew we had to get it, and we did what we had to do,” said Morris. “We punched it in and we made it happen for the rest of the game as well, so that felt real good.”

The Spartans momentum continued to flow into the second half of the game. After each team moved each other across the gridiron for seven minutes in the third quarter, a successful series of plays occurred when Davis was able to complete a 55-yard pass to Hayden, which was then followed up by a 40-yard run by Morris into the end zone, earning his fourth touchdown of the night.

The Spartans capped off their fourth quarter with several more plays that earned them more points. Two minutes into the fourth quarter the Trojans made a failed punt attempt,  to which senior cornerback Tyler Wilson took the opportunity to dive for and recover before the Trojans could, earning the Spartans another touchdown, again followed up by an extra point. With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Spartans were able to take control of the field, and eventually moved the ball up to the 19-yard line after several plays, allowing sophomore running back Jordan Cooper to run the ball in the end zone for the Spartans’ seventh touchdown. Following the final touchdown up with an extra point, the Spartans claimed the game with a victory of 51-7.

Varsity offensive line coach Larry McDevitt felt the team had really prepared and worked hard for the victory, and felt that they had learned from their previous match against Parkway South.

“It’s been a long time coming. The kids have been working hard and it seems like we’ve got to fight for everything. Finally tonight, things went our way,” said Coach McDevitt. “We kind of shot ourselves in the foot against Parkway South, we were our own worst enemy a little bit. [But] we corrected a few things, took some personal responsibility to do things that we need to do individually. The kids really turned it on tonight.”

While Morris felt that the team’s hard work throughout the past week had helped the team, Morris also believed that their team’s speed and agility gave them an advantage over the Trojans.

“Looking at the film of [the Trojans], we saw that they were slow,” said Morris. “What I mean to mean is that [we saw] speed was going to kill, speed was going to be be very essential to this win, and that’s how it turned out.”

Heading forward to their next game at Francis Howell North, Morris felt convinced that the Spartans are ready to take on the Knights this Friday at 7 p.m.

“I feel that — trying a little bit to foreshadow — it’s time to ruin somebody’s homecoming,” said Morris.