The Trojans traveled to Huntingdon on Friday to face the Mustangs, who were undefeated in region play. Huntingdon has made a reputation of winning region games over the past few years, usually beating the Trojans by several scores. Vince Lombardi once said, “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” It would be easy for a team, picked to lose by as many as 4 touchdowns to quit or simply not show up. It would be even easier to quit after falling behind by those 4 scores…but, we are the Trojans of Collinwood, and quitting simply isn’t in our nature and will never be a habit. The Huntingdon offense is in a word, impressive; known for keeping defenses off balanced with their up-tempo approach and balance of misdirection runs and quick hit passes. When a team that creates momentum off of this “run and gun” style of offense, they are hard to stop as each play comes faster than the last and can be on the ground or through the air with no real rhyme or reason; simply a harmonic flow. The only real way to stop a machine such as this is to disrupt the harmonic flow, by taking the ball away. Collinwood did just that, not just once or twice but 5 times! The Trojan defense caused 4 fumbles and 1 interception on the night, with each Trojan tackle accompanied by “rips” at the football before the ball carrier could fall to the ground. When speaking of turnovers, coaches emphasize “Create and Capitalize.” Collinwood was able to create turnovers, but could never turn those into consistent points. On the other hand, one of Collinwood’s turnovers was a pick 6 for the Mustangs. Collinwood held the Mustang offense to only 6 points in the first half and drove down into Mustang territory after recovering fumble after fumble, but could never find pay-dirt. After the first half, Huntingdon came out and scored on a long, methodical drive after a failed Trojan possession. Huntingdon was well aware of Collinwood’s rushing attack and countered with stunts, blitzes, and stacking the box to minimize its impact. Being down 2 scores, with only a little over a quarter left to play, Collinwood was forced to go to the air as the ground game was ineffective. The Mustang defense struck as they were chasing QB Dayton Scott, forcing him into an errant pass that was picked off and run back for the 3rd Mustang touchdown. On the first play of the 4th quarter Huntingdon scored again, this time from 26 yards out against a tiring and weathered Trojan defense. So the Trojans, now with 1 quarter to play, find themselves trailing 28-0 in hostile territory, outnumbered, and frankly outplayed at this point. Huntingdon, knowing that the remaining clock was as much of an opponent as their defense, transitioned to defend the pass, as Collinwood was now forced to go to the air to save valuable time if they were to mount any type of a comeback. Dayton Scott, who to this point had been sacked or knocked down upon releasing the ball on virtually every pass play, being beaten and battered could have easily “quit” or phoned it in for the last 12 minutes. Instead, not only #4, but every Trojan on the field, collectively stood back up after being knocked down physically and on the score board repeatedly, as if to say…“Quit? Us? Heck no! Let’s score some points!” The Trojan offense attacked with a renewed vigor, marching down the field and scoring on a 9 yard run by Joe Houston Thompson. Thompson caught the two point conversion toss by Scott a few seconds later. The Trojan defense came up big again by forcing another fumble. The offense jumped on the opportunity as Dayton Scott hit Alex Haddock from 24 yards out to bring the score to 28-14. The final horn blew on the next Mustang possession, leaving the Trojan comeback too little, too late, but honorable in the hearts of Trojan Nation.
Dayton Scott threw the ball 28 times on the night, completing 14 of them for 178 yards and 1 touchdown. Ward, Thompson, and Haddock had 5, 4, and 3 receptions each, with Haddock’s grab being the Trojan’s last score. Thompson averaged 4.6 yards on 7 carries and 1 touchdown, while Ward averaged 4.1 on 8 carries.
Defensively, Lige Craig scooped up 2 Mustang fumbles. Drake Ray recovered a fumble and Peyton Ward caused a fumble, recovered a fumble, and intercepted a Mustang pass and returned it 30 yards. Lane Makara led all tacklers with 15. Blake Whitten added 12. Joe Hensley had 11 stops and 1 sack. Peyton Ward had 10 tackles on the night and 2 sacks. The Thompson brothers, Joe Houston and Fletcher, each had 9 tackles each.
Collinwood will host their first home game this Thursday night, October 8th. After a scramble to find an opponent, after another Covid-19 shut down, the Trojans will face off against McNairy Central in what could possibly be the first ever meeting between the two schools. Come out and support our boys because we know they will “Come On With It.”—Submitted