Worn down by a physical Patriots run game and hindered by mental mistakes, Central fell to Truman by a score of 40-9 on Friday at Central High School.
The troubles for the Indians began from the start of the game. A pair of interceptions thrown by Central (0-4) gave Truman (1-3) the ball with good field position. They took advantage, grinding for chunk yardage on the ground behind a massive Patriots offensive line.
Fullback Myylan Townsend trucked in for the first Truman score, and they proceeded to score three more touchdowns in the half without an answer from the Indians.
“You gotta make tackles. Simple as that. You don’t make tackles, you don’t win ball games. It doesn’t matter what scheme you have or the size of the players you have, if those players can’t make tackles you can’t win football games,” Central coach Regi Trotter said.
“We didn’t make enough plays to get it done early on and it kind of snowballed on us.”
Eventually, Central managed to put together a few good drives. Quarterback Quentin Trotter scrambled for several big gains, they connected on a string of short completions, and by halftime had scored on a 29-yard run by Trotter and a field goal with under a minute left.
Despite a disastrous start to the game, the had Indians ended the half on a good note.
They got a stop on their first two defensive possessions of the second, but were unable to summon that same offensive production.
“We had a drive we should have extended but a penalty backs up up, then a lack of focus backs us up again to lose more yardage,” Regi Trotter said. “Can’t have those mental errors and physical mistakes if you want to be a good football team.”
Quentin Trotter pointed to the ineffectiveness of the passing game as a major problem in the second.
“In the passing game we gotta connect the dots. Maybe a couple times I don’t throw a good ball, or the receiver doesn’t catch the ball,” Quentin Trotter said. “But we gotta connect the dots to get the ball where it needs to be and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Truman punished the Indians with dive play after dive play, eventually bullying their way down the field and driving in for two more scores in the second half, including a quarterback run from Patriots quarterback Carter Brown after a dropped snap.
Senior defensive tackle Jordan Bratton said that toward the end of the game, the team had lost its edge.
“We just didn’t play aggressive enough, and didn’t come out with that same mentality,” Bratton said. “We have to work on becoming a fourth quarter team. We have to come out with even more intensity.”
Still winless, Central continues to battle injuries as they scramble for that first victory.
Quentin Trotter hasn’t lost faith.
“We’re hurting. We’re fighting for this win right now and it’s not there yet,” Quentin Trotter said. “I think it will come, I really do. We’re just gonna keep working.”