Defending C-2 State Champion Doniphan-Trumbull broke open a tight game with a two touchdown flurry midway through the 3rd quarter to beat a determined Twin River squad in Silver Creek Thursday evening. In a battle of contrasting offensive styles, Twin River turned back the Cardinals on more than one occasion if the first half to enter the halftime break trailing only 8-2. But on Doniphan-Trumbull's first possession of the 2nd half the young Cardinals rode the running of 140 pound sophomore Tom Pfeiffer and 140 pound junior Braden Schuppan to take a 16-2 lead. In the 3rd stanza, it was the fleet footed, lightening quick Schuppan who burst through an opening and raced 41 yards for the score with 7:20 left in that critical 3rd. After sophomore QB Tate Mazour nailed 140 pound RB Chet Quist for a 2 point conversion, disaster struck the home field Titans. On the ensuing kick-off, Twin River's Devin Miller was stuck with a helmet jarring tackle by Jake Critel and coughed up the football. D-T's Tim Tabor pounced on the loose ball at the Twin River 32. Just 3 plays later Tom Pfeiffer found the end zone on a 4 yard run. Mazour treaded the needle and nailed Jake Ediger for the 2 point conversion.
The clock read 6:54 in the 3rd quarter and in just a 26 second span Doniphan-Trumbull stretched it's lead to 24-2.
Twin River refused to fold the tent and with just 12.3 seconds left in that 3rd stanza, Devin Miller bolted into the end zone from 4 yards out to cut the defending C-2 kings lead to 24-8.
The Titans kept fighting on defense and finally gained some nice field possession, starting a crucial drive on their own 40 yard line with 6:11 left in the contest. Twin River turned to standout fullback Joey Hagerbaumer, a rugged 195 senior, and number 22 carried the load on the 60 yard, 5:41 drive. Aided by Hagerbaumer's tough running and a couple of major penalties by the Cardinals, the senior back took the ball in for a 5 yard score off his left side to cut the lead to 24-14.
The score proved just to be too little too late as the clock read :25.8 remaining in the contest.
An short squib kick was gobbled up by Doniphan-Trumbull and with Tate Mazour taking a knee one time, the Cards sealed the 24-14 win.
Doniphan-Trumbull, who returned only 5 starters on offense and 3 on defense, lost some serious talent from a year ago and in my opinion, the best senior class that school has ever witnessed. To make things more challenging, head coach Brett Breckner stepped down from the post he occupied a year ago and turned things over to assistant Clint Head. The Cardinals still had some talent though and new coach Clint Head (with Breckner as an assistant) turned the QB reins over to a sophomore and replaced all everything back Jordan Slough with a couple of 140 pound running backs and powerful sophomore Tom Pfeiffer. Along with that personnel, the Cardinals employed a no-huddle, spread offense that kept Twin River on its toes trying to line up in a hurry.
In sharp contrast, the Titans ran a tight wishbone-type offense and used the running game almost exclusively. Twin River quarterback Matt Euse threw only 4 passes on the warm, overcast night and was 0-4 with 2 interceptions. It was the punishing running of Joey Hagerbaumer that paced the Titans on this night. Hagerbaumer, who rushed for 774 yards a year ago, blasted his way for 148 yards on 22 carries, most of which were right into the heart of the brutal line backing corps of D-T.
Doniphan-Trumbull opened the scoring in the 2nd quarter when Mazour found Zach McNally for an 11 yard TD pass. The Cardinals had nearly scored on their second drive of the game when they drove 79 yards in 12 plays. On a 4th and goal from the one, 6-0, 225 Titan senior Bruce Kummer plugged the gap and stopped D-T quarterback Tate Mazour right in his tracks. Late in the 2nd quarter the Twin River "D" came up with another sparkling play when the Cardinals Chet Quist was smothered for a safety.
The 3rd quarter flurry by Doniphan-Trumbull proved to be the difference in the football game. It was a nicely balanced attack for the Cardinals on this night by the river in Silver Creek. Sophomore signal caller Tate Mazour was impressive in the shotgun, completing 11 of his 19 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Braden Schuppan was the rushing leader for D-T, running for 78 yards on just 8 carries which that 41 yard TD scamper. Sophomore Tom Pfeiffer was the workhorse though, rushing 20 times for 67 yards. Pfeiffer took quite a beating in the process.
Zach McNally was a shining star as a wide receiver, hauling in 5 passes for 91 yards and a score. On defense, Tim Tabor made only 4 tackles but recovered 2 fumbles for the Cards. The absolute monster in that defense had to be Jake Critel, who had a mind boggling 17 solo tackles and picked off a Titan pass. All-State comes to mind.
For Twin River, Devin Miller, who played quarterback a little, ran for 40 yards on 11 carries. Teammate Luke Wilcynski added 34 yards on 8 totes. It was a balanced performance on defense for Twin River. Junior Jayce Ellenwood led the pace with 10 tackles, Caleb Frenzen, and Kummer each had 9. Jeremy Preister added 8 stops along with Hagerbaumer and Miller who also had 8 each.
Most coaches will say there is no such thing as a "moral victory" but Twin River head man Todd Connelly had to be proud of his forces for the way they played in this game. You see, Twin River has been 1-7 four of the last 5 seasons and the other (2010) they were 2-6. So, how big was this game to the Titans this evening? As a casual bystander, I was pretty impressed. I was also impressed with the way Doniphan-Trumbull has started their season. Pretty tough to replace those talented seniors from a year ago, but things seem to be moving right along for those defending champs, thank you.
Next week 1-1 Doniphan-Trumbull will host a rugged Hershey team on Friday night and Twin River (1-1) will stay at home to meet Stanton.