Titans top St. John in thriller
The TGU football team needed a touchdown in the final minutes and a goal line stand in the final seconds, but earned a thrilling 23-18 victory over St. John on Sept. 20.
St. John scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3 minutes. 48 seconds remaining, but the Titans quickly put themselves into scoring position. TGU quarterback Eli Luna hit Colter Thorp for a 43-yard gain to put the Titans in the red zone.
After a few runs, Luna connected with Hunter Schell on a play-action pass for the go-ahead touchdown. Luna also connected with Blaine Rosencrans for the 2-point conversion with 1:46 left in regulation to make the margin 23-18.
But St. John, one of the few 9-man teams in the state that can match TGU’s speed and athleticism, put together a drive of its own.
After moving down the field in short order, the Woodchucks had the ball inside the TGU 10 after a pass interference call.
St. John quarterback Keifer Langan was pressured on the final play of the game and forced to pitch the ball, sealing the TGU win, according Titans head coach Scott Thorson.
Both teams entered with 4-0 records and Thorson said the game was just about what he expected.
“I knew that this game would be a great athletic matchup across the board, but I was even more impressed with their athletes once I saw them in action,” he said. “Keifer Langan is an outstanding quarterback surrounded with a lot of nice receivers and ball carriers.”
Both teams are known for their explosive offenses and speedy skilled position players, but the game was a defensive struggle with nearly half the game’s points coming in the final four minutes.
“I think that it goes back to the athleticism of both teams,” Thorson said. “Everyone on the field seemed to have an equal to match them. Also the level of intensity that the game was played at often favors the defenses. Both teams also made some mistakes in the form of penalties or turnovers that ended drives.”
Kendal Green and Ethan Bachmeier each had touchdowns for TGU, which moved to 5-0 with the win.
TGU, with its explosive offense, has had a number of blowout wins this season.
Thorson said it was good to see his team show resilience when it got down late in the game.
“In the pregame, we talked about the fact that we will have to face some adversity at some point in this game,” he said. “We faced a lot of adversities and were able to overcome most of them. It was great to have a close game, and better yet, to come out on top. At no point did I ever see any doubt in our players’ eyes.”
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