The Trojan football team traveled to Crete, Nebraska to take on the Tigers of Doane College last Saturday. Doane was recently ranked in the coach’s poll at number 21 in the nation. The Tigers jumped to an early lead in the game and halted the Trojans late comeback, resulting in a 35-14 loss. Doane handed the Trojans their third loss in a row, putting the Tigers at 2-0 and the Trojans at 0-3.
In the first quarter, the Trojans had a breakdown in the protection for the punt team. Doane blocked the punt and returned it for a 12-yard touchdown. The following drive, the Trojans got to the two-yard line and fumbled into the end zone. The Tigers went deep on the first play of the following possession. They scored on a 93-yard touchdown pass to put them up 14 to 0. The Trojan offense continued to struggle to hold on to the ball, giving it back to Doane, and setting them up for a 21-point lead going into halftime.
Doane scored another big touchdown to come out of the half to put the Trojans into a deeper hole. The next possession, the Trojans used four plays and 76 yards to finally get on the scoreboard, 28-7. But right when the Trojans found life the Tigers scored again putting them up 35-7. Large used a couple big plays to get the Trojans on the board again, throwing a 28-yard touchdown to Zach Ely.
Turnovers and giving up big plays were what changed the game Saturday. The Trojans had five fumbles and lost 3 of them on key scoring drives. They also gave up big plays in the secondary on some miscommunications. The special teams for the Trojans have improved very well this year but had two mistakes with a fumble on a kickoff return and blocked punt.
Large was 13-for-23 with 260 yards and recorded two touchdown passes for the Trojans. Stacey Berg had five catches for 103 yards. Carl Curtis added three receptions for 53 yards. John Niesen rushed 17 times for 19 yards.
Craig Hertz had 19 tackles for Dakota State. Eric Liles added 14 tackles and forced fumble two times. Matt Groff recorded an interception.
This Saturday, the Trojans return to Madison to take on their old DAK rival Valley City State. Kick-off is going to be at 4 p.m. at Trojan Field.
Featured photo provided by DSU Athletics. (From DWU game; No available Doane photo)