Luna, TGU get Raiders next
TGU senior quarterback Eli Luna can do it all.
During a Class A first-round tilt against Mott-Regent on Oct. 25, he had a hand in each of TGU’s seven touchdowns, racking up four touchdown passes on 135 yards and another two scores on 189 yards rushing (11 carries). He even scored on an interception from 58 yards out to close the first half.
There isn’t much Luna can’t do on the football field.
Luna is tasked with keeping the Titans on track today in a quarterfinal matchup against Richardton-Taylor.
The Raiders are coming off a 58-50 win over St. John, the only team to defeat TGU this season.
But Titans coach Scott Thorson is confident.
“Everything centers around (Luna), and I don’t think that’s a secret to any team that’s gonna play us,” he said. “We kinda go the way he’s gonna go offensively, and last week he had a big game for us and we won the game. Everything revolves around him, and the team that can stop him is probably gonna be the one that beats us.”
Splitting time between quarterback and running back positions, Luna has amassed a region-high total with 1,472 rushing yards along with 19 touchdowns. He’s also thrown 1,462 yards for an additional 20 scores.
But Luna isn’t the only weapon on TGU’s offense, and he knows it.
“We’re really well rounded,” Luna said. “All of our receivers can catch the ball consistently and block well. … Our running backs are pretty fierce, too. We have the speed, we have the power. We’ve just gotta keep rolling.
“I don’t play for myself. I play for my teammates, and we all play for each other.”
Junior running back Lane Schmitt also eclipsed the century mark against Mott-Regent, his second 100-yard performance in as many weeks. Schmitt also caught a touchdown at the start of the third quarter, making him one of four Titan receivers to find the end zone.
“Our offense has been pretty explosive,” said senior receiver Colter Thorp, who leads TGU with 644 yards and 12 touchdowns. “We can run the ball, we can pass the ball, and we get a good push up front from our line every play.”
Thorp reeled in 73 yards on five catches against the Wildfire, good for team-high totals in both categories.
The Titans finished just behind St. John in Region 3 scoring this season with 45.3 points per game. Richardton-Taylor averages 46.2.
Thorson is hoping to avoid a shootout.
“If we have to score 50 to stay in the game with them, then we’re in trouble,” he said.
On defense, both teams are similarly close in points allowed.
The Titans enjoy a slight advantage with 18.7 per game, compared to the Raiders’ 23.9. Last week’s 50-point concession was the highest for Richardton-Taylor all year.
“We’re gonna have to stop the run. That’s gonna be our main goal,” Luna said. ‘They’re a real pound-it-at-you team, they’re really fast and they work fast on offense, too.
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