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Breeze-Courier Sports Writer
For the Taylorville’s 2021 Homecoming the Tornadoes duked it out with conference opposition Effingham Flaming Hearts. The Tornadoes looked to defend their home turf on a beauti- ful September Friday night . With the comeback attempt coming too late in the game the Tornadoes fell to the Hearts 27-7.
The crowd let the teams know they were ready to get this game started. Buzzing behind them the Tornadoes get set to receive the ball to start the game. Defense was the name of the game in the first half with both sides hungry for the football. Both Taylorville and Effingham made their presence felt shutting down the other offense. Neither team being able to reach the end zone in the first quarter of play. The second quarter begins with Effingham offense wearing the Tornadoes down. Pounding it right down the middle until they find themselves on the 2 yard line. #34 John Westendorf punches his way through the D for the first touchdown of the game. The Heart miss the point after putting them up 6-0 With 11:54 still remaining in the second quarter. Neither team able to get past the strong defensive stands with the remaining time. The horn sounds bringing the first half to a close.
The second half was worse immediately for Taylorville as Effingham received the kick- off. Taking the team only 5 minutes to score quarterback Tanner Pontious throws a 59 yard bomb to his receiver for the cheer crushing touchdown. Adding the extra point made it 13-0. Effingham sitting comfortably Taylorville looked out of their groove turning the ball over after a few runs by quarterback Kameren Heimsness. The senior finished the night with 13 attempt on the ground for 41 yards. Heimsness through the air had 4 completions on 13 attemps for 106 yards. The Hearts get the ball back and set their sights on the end zone once more. It was a fight yet again. Taking the fight to the offense, Taylorville senior linebacker Hunter Gerlick. Effingham reached the end zone a few plays later on a 27 yard pass. Nailing the extra point made the score 20-0 with 3:13 left in the 3rd quarter. The next drive the Tornadoes miss on 3 pass attempts and turn the ball over as the 3rd quarter came to a close. Taylorville understanding the situation they put themselves in tried to stay positive and get on the board. Effingham took advantage of the downed Tornadoes and score once more. This time coming on a 25 yard race to the end zone by the Effingham running back. With the PAT made the Hearts take a 27-0 lead over Taylorville. Tornado junior Seth Hughes gives the team good field position taking handoff all the way down to the Hearts 35 year line. Taylorville comeback set in motion as Heimsness connected to his receiver Jaden Mathon for then handed touchdown grab. The senior Mathon had one reception for 35 yards and a touchdown. Heimsness adds on the extra point. The score 27-7 Hearts with just under
10 minutes to go in the game. The 10 minutes was quickly chewed up by consis- tent rushing attack by the visiting team. Taylorville drops their Homecoming matchup, 27-7. The heart- breaking loss to Effingham
puts the Tornadoes season record at 2-3. The teams next game will be away at Charleston against the Trojans.