BOURBON – Triton football is over the hill and unfortunately for the Trojans, they spent most of the night in an uphill battle.
On a night reserved as an unofficial homecoming, Triton played with pride and pageantry for the home crowd but did not have the numbers on the sidelines, or scoreboard, to run with John Glenn. The Falcons blew by Triton 40-6 on Friday night in Bourbon.
Triton’s night started off on bad a note as the Trojans coughed the ball up on the game’s opening series. Glenn recovered and the Falcon offense punched it in four plays later to go up 7-0.
The Trojans started to stall on their second drive but senior Cole Creighbaum found Gage Waddle for a 40-yard completion on fourth down to set Triton up with a first and goal on Glenn’s one yard line. The Trojans failed to capitalize on the golden opportunity after failing to convert on four straight plays from inside the 10 yard line.
The Falcons went 95 yards on the ensuing drive to go up 14-0. Glenn was unstoppable for the rest of the half taking a 20-0 lead into the locker room.
During the break Triton’s athletic department paid tribute to a half-century of Trojan football. Former players were invited down on the field to be recognized in front of the community. Joining the players on the field were four former head coaches from the Trojan program.
Jon Mills, Bob Burris, Dean Lemler and Rodney Younis were all in attendance on Friday night and honored for their contributions to the Trojan program over the years. The nine remaining former Trojan head coaches, who were unable to attend, were also recognized at the ceremony.
Lemler, who led Triton from 1977-1980 reflected on his time in Bourbon following the ceremony, “I coached at a 5A high school in South Carolina with a stadium that seated 8,000 people before I came up here. To say that it was a big change would be an understatement. Coming here was a big change but this is such a nice community to coach in.
“At a school this size you get to develop really great relationships with your players. I saw some of my former players tonight and it was great to see them and their families. This was just a really great night and I am glad I could be a part of it.”
While it was undoubtedly a great night for the former coaches and players, the current members of the Trojan team may have different feelings. The Falcons continued to dominate the game after the break by scoring three more times to take a 40-0 lead. The Falcons commanded the game in ever aspect, with the exception of kicking extra points.
After three long quarters of getting beat off the ball and coming up short on drives, the Trojans finally managed to score. Creighbaum led the Trojans on a great drive and ended with a four-yard scoring toss to Gage Waddle.
While Creighbaum played inspired football to help lead the Trojan offense, he was also all over the field for Triton’s defense. When he was not scrambling for yards or making touchdown-saving tackles, he was punting the ball for his team. The senior’s non-stop attitude was one a just a few bright spots for the Trojan’s on the night.
Triton head coach John Johns was impressed, as always, with his senior captain, “He is everywhere. He plays hard and he is a true senior leader. Without him on the field, we are a different team. This is a team sports, there are 11 guys out there working hard for us but Cole is a playmaker. Cole is a great athlete, one of the best I have coached. He is just a flat out playmaker.”
Johns’ only hope is that the rest of the team can realize that they too can be on that level.
“This is a good team. Those kids work hard and I just think that they have been so used to losing that they do not think they are any good and that just isn’t the case. We just have to execute out there. There were a lot of plays where we just did not execute correctly.
But our biggest obstacle right now is improving our mentality. These kids need to believe that they can do it. They can win. I know they can. They just have to realize it. Winning is hard, there is no doubt about that. But these kids have the ability to win. They just need to start believing it.”
The Trojans (1-4, 0-3) will have a tough time next week as they travel to New Prairie to take on the Cougars. New Prairie is currently in first place in the Northern State Conference after its 25-7 victory over Jimtown on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.