Cole’s Corner: Trojans get a taste of their own medicine

The Trojan offensive line struggled to hold a fast-paced Firebird defense all night in a 21-0 loss.

An undefeated Trojan football team marched into Lawrence Free State last night and came out on the losing side for the first time all season.

The Trojans (8-1), who usually find themselves rolling early on, fought all night to get their offense going, but nothing ever sparked. What has been an electric running game all season barely got anything going. Mike McCoy, senior, ran for only 87 yards, Corey Thomas, junior, rushed for 45, and Saylor Caraway, senior, had only 33 yards rushing. Just as well, the passing game lacked for the Trojans. The offensive line had trouble most of the game and could not keep up with Free State’s fast-paced defense, which gave Thomas hardly anytime to throw. Thomas only completed one of his nine passes.

The Free State Firebirds (6-3) were awake on offense from the beginning. Sam Skwarlo and Bryce Tornedon were the two x-factors which led to a Free State win, combining for 319 yards of rushing offense and all three scores.

If anything, the biggest x-factor for both teams were the playing conditions. A slight drizzle of rain all game made things difficult for both sides. Missed tackles seemed to happen at least once a play and the Trojans and Firebirds combine for eight fumbles.

Ultimately, a loss is a loss, but this one was rather constructive for Topeka High. Even though this loss means a lower seeding for the 6A State Playoffs, the Trojans got to see a team filled with talent. Sure, there were mistakes made and errors that weren’t capitalized on by the Topeka High, but they hung in and fought all game. There was no quit in the Trojans and that is one of the most positive things that can be pulled from this game. Just as well, Free State was one of the, if not the, best teams Topeka High has seen all year. The Firebirds played hard and fast. They gave the Trojans a real taste of a playoff caliber team. If Topeka High can learn from their mistakes, there’s no reason they can’t keep building on this season.

Topeka High will play Derby High School in Derby, Kansas next week for the first round of the 6A State Playoffs.