Trojans vs. Trojans in Friday’s homecoming game

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

The first half of Friday night’s Rock Valley Conference contest at Evansville-Albany was just about as even as it could get.

Unfortunately for the East Troy football team, the second half didn’t quite turn out the same.

Fans of offensive fireworks were treated to plenty, as the Trojans and Blue Devils combined for 92 points in Evansville’s wild 50-42 victory. The loss dropped East Troy to 4-3, while Evansville improved to 4-3.

Both teams need one win in the last two weeks to qualify for the postseason.

The difference between a win and a loss Friday was slim, East Troy coach Jeff Crandall said.

“When you get in high-scoring games, it comes down to the defensive stops and turnovers,” he said. “This is what happened Friday.”

Down 50-35 midway through the fourth quarter, the Trojans made a final push to get back into the game.

Junior quarterback Jacob Dessart, who threw for 187 yards and rushed for 314 more, connected on a 22-yard scoring strike to Eli Newhouse that pulled East Troy within eight points at 50-42.

But that was as close as the Trojans would get, as its final two possessions resulted in a fumble and an Evansville defensive stop.

Quick start

The first half was back and forth from the start.

Evansville took the early lead on a 74-yard touchdown pass from Zach Mielke, who threw for 349 yards, to Sully Geske.

From there, however, the Trojans began to assert a little control of their own.

Dessart scored on touchdown runs of 10 and 1 yards, followed by a 14-yard run by Dylan Jakscht, who finished with 120 yards on the ground, to build the Trojans’ lead to 21-6 at the end of the first quarter.

“We were executing well at the beginning of the game, and the defense came up with a stop and a turnover, which we turned into points,” Crandall said.

While the opening quarter belonged to the Trojans, the second was all Blue Devils.

Evansville’s Tony Paschal scored on a 2-yuard run, followed by an 8-yard run by Logan Katzenmeyer to cut the Trojans’ lead to 21-20.

After Dessart rebuilt East Troy’s advantage back to 28-20 with a 41-yard jaunt to the end zone, Mielke and Sam Haegele connected on a 33-yard scoring strike to cut the Trojans’ lead to two points at the intermission.

Mielke was impressive, Crandall said.

“Evansville connected on a few deep passes,” he said. “They have a four-year starting quarterback, and he played like it on Friday making some outstanding throws.”

Evansville moves in front

The Blue Devils completed the comeback on two more third-quarter touchdowns, the first on a 4-yard run by Mielke, followed by another scoring strike from Mielke to Haegele, this time a 36 yarder, that gave Evansville a 12-point advantage at 40-28.

But East Troy wasn’t quite finished, as Dessart scored his third of four rushing touchdowns on the night on an 84-yard run that closed out the third quarter and sent the Trojans into the final 12 minutes with a 40-35 deficit.

“Dessart had an outstanding night,” Crandall said. “On that play, he broke a few tackles, had an outstanding block downfield by Eli Newhouse, and then was able to outrun the rest of the defense.”

Through seven games, Dessart now has thrown for 989 yards with eight touchdowns and rushed for 1,049 with 18 touchdowns.

“Jacob Dessart is an outstanding football player,” Crandall said. “He gains a bunch of yards after contact, which make him hard to defend.”

Evansville gave itself some much-needed insurance points in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Brady Markee and a 34-yard field goal by Sam Urquirt.

Trojans vs. Trojans

The Trojans are back in action tonight when they close their home schedule against Beloit Turner at 7 p.m. in East Troy’s homecoming game. Turner, also nicknamed the Trojans, dropped a 42-27 decision to Jefferson last week to fall to 5-2.

But even with that setback, Crandall knows his team will be in for a challenge.

“Turner has been playing great this year,” he said. “We need to continue to improve in all three phases of our game. Turner has some great players who you need to limit the yards they get. You have to be prepared to defend the whole field against them.”

East Troy closes its regular season Oct. 13 at Brodhead-Juda. A victory in either of its last two games will clinch a Division 3 playoff berth for the third straight season.

 
 

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