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Lucas Domonousky / Breeze-Courier Photo
TAYLRVILLE — Senior RB Thomas Gettings uses strong stiff arm move to bully his Mt. Zion opponent during the Homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 15.
Breeze-Courier Sports Editor
TAYLORVILLE —Buzz around the Taylorville High School Sports Complex on Friday, Sept. 15 was so great it could only mean one thing, the Braves were in town and Homecoming was upon us. The Tornadoes faced off against Apollo Conference rival Mt. Zion who, like the host, was sitting undefeated at 3-0 before the matchup. This game felt like a true test for both parties but only one could walk away with that fourth win. The Braves spoiled the THS party and emerged victorious scoring four touchdowns and held the Purple and Gold to just one score, 28-6 the final.
The game plan for Head Coach, Jeb Odam, was simple. Play keep away. However, their opponent had other plans in getting their playmakers the ball.
Each team scored early. The Braves punched it in with a QB sneak at the one yard line. Tornadoes answered right back with some T-ville trickery. A double fake run, pass to TE Cash Faraker for the 5-yard touchdown. Never mind the two-point conversion being unsuccessful. The boy’s were in this game. The score was 7-6 with MTZ still hanging onto the little bit of edge.
Butting heads early on, each team fighting to gain that momentum. Taylorville breaking up passes. Mt. Zion rushing for 10+ yards. Taylorville’s running game on point. Mt. Zion’s screen passes put them closer to a score.
The Tornadoes did have a handful of takeaways, senior DB Jake McConnell INT and senior DB Clark Rahar fumble recovery, but simple mistakes plagued the home team throughout. Emotions ran high and the penalties poured on. Coach Odam admits he could have done things differently and accepts the blame.
“I did a terrible job at putting our guys in the right situations to sustain drives.” He said after the 28-6 loss. “We had too many penalties, too many self inflicted wounds and that falls back on me ultimately. It’s something we’ve got to address in practice because playoff teams don’t do those things. Maybe we got a little too comfortable being three and oh (3-0). So we’ve got to make sure we clean that stuff up and that starts with me.”
The veteran coach has seen his fair share of heartbreak but this one will sting for the next few days. Senior RB Thomas Gettings shares these emotions just the same.
“We knew it was going to be a hard team.” Gettings informs. “We just went in there to be aggressive and go all out. It didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, obviously.”
Leadership is something Gettings hopes to continue to share throughout the remainder of his final season as a Tornado.
“I think it’ll be a positive point moving forward.” He shares. “I appreciate everyone coming out and and all the boys playing hard.”
With 3,285 audience members in attendance, the Taylorville varsity football team fell to Mt. Zion on Homecoming night, 28-6.
“We’re back to square one now.” Head Coach Odam says. “We’ve got Mahomet-Seymour at their place next week. They’re ultra aggressive. They’re going to blitz every down, play man to man and they’re going to force us to earn it. We’re going to have to come up with a game plan to keep the clock moving and give our defense a chance to keep us in football games. It’s going to be a tough test next week.”
The Apollo Conference matchup against the Bulldogs will be in Mahomet with kickoff coming at 7:00 p.m.
“Great job by the fans.” Odam finishes. “That crowd was great tonight. We just didn’t put ourselves in a good situation to give them a good show.”