THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Titans Eye Jamboree with Crucial Win Over Pioneers
The Lena/STAA Titans had to win Friday night against the visiting Sevastopol Pioneers, who entered the contest with a 5-1 overall record. No easy task since the Pioneers are considered one of the best the Great 8 has to offer.
The Titans knew what they had to do to win and they executed like champions on their way to the 36-14 win and a 4-3 overall record. The Titans moved to 4-1 in conference play.
"There is no question about it, they are a great team," said Titans co-head coach Dale Lange. "They had some big linemen and some real tough runners, we just knew that this was going to be a much more challenging game than last week. But we came out and played a great game."
A big part of the game plan Friday night was to keep the ball on the ground and wear down the tough and rowdy Pioneers. By the end of the contest the Titans had amassed 286 total yards with 246 coming off the legs of their hard hitting offensive backfield, especially from Austin Lange who led the Titans with 161 yards on 13 carries. Hunter Borchert chipped in 53 yards on 12.
Sevastopol's game plan wasn't too different from that of the Titans as they also stuck to the ground for 183 yards on the day. Ethan Kroll led the way with 97 yards on 17 carries.
But that's not to say there wasn't any passing, as Borchert completed three of his seven passes for 40 yards and one crucial teedee.
After stopping the Pioneers on their inital drive of the game, the Titans quickly posted the first score of the game using six plays on their way to the teedee. The drive was keyed by a 34 yard gain by Austin Lange. Borchert capped the drive off with the one yard goal line scamper followed by the two point conversion for the 8-0 lead.
It became obvious on the Pioneers drive that the game was going to be a blow for blow battle as The Pioneers moved across the field on 13 plays before punching in the five yard blast from Kroll which was followed by a successful conversion by Hunter Ebel.
The Titans answered after the kick return with a huge play by Lange who broke loose untouched on a 70 yard scoring rush.
On the Pioneers ensuing drive it looked as if they would again return fire but a costly holding penalty and a tackle in the backfield forced them to punt .
"That was a huge stop for us," said Lange. "Any time you can stop a team that's rolling from scoring, and get them off track and break the momentum, its huge."
With a score and possession up on the Pioneers it was imperative that the Titans build a bit of a lead before the half and on their next drive they did just that, battling down field on a grueling 15 play drive that ended with a 19 yard passing touchdown from Borchert to Christian Hornick, giving the Titans a 22-8 lead going into halftime.
"They were double teaming Jack (Farley) all game," said Lange. "So we said fine, we'll pass to Hornick, who they left pretty much uncovered on the play."
Entering the third it was anyone's game, but that quickly changed as Jacob Staidl readied himself for the opening half kick return. After catching the ball Staidl followed his blockers into the scrum that had formed around midfield, but instead of trying to struggle through the mess, he made a cut toward the Titan sideline