The Trojans face Faith Lutheran at home tonight at 7 p.m., rain or shine. The National Weather Service has predicted rain (60 percent) for Friday’s game so bring the umbrella.
The Crusaders (6-1 overall, 5-0 Sunset League) are coming off a win over Sierra Vista 44-14. Faith Lutheran has beaten all the top teams in the Sunset League, Mojave 30-2 and Cheyenne 40-22 and are undefeated in league.
The Crusaders run a tough 3-3-5 defense that was designed to handle a spread offense but Trojans coach Adam Gent said their defense was the least of his worries.
“Going against the 3-3 stack isn’t the challenge as much as going against how well they play football,” Gent said. “We are going to try our best to make adjustments to their fronts and offensive schemes, but at the end of the night it comes down to who executes and has better personnel. This will be the best team we face in the regular season so we are doing everything we can to be best prepared on our end.”
On offense, the Crusaders are comfortable running the ball and passing. They run a spread type offense. Christian Marshall is their lead rusher who had 10 carries for 164 yards last week and runs the ball up the middle with ease and speed.
Faith Lutheran quarterback Brenden Joyce can hurt you with his running capability and he can throw the ball long.
The bottom line is Faith Lutheran has great personnel and great coaching.
“Faith Lutheran looks to be one of the top two D1-A teams in the state, next to Desert Pines,” Gent said. “Faith Lutheran has a lot of great coaching, like Bishop Gorman and some of the magnet schools, they can pull in players from all over the valley, so that makes them tough every year. They are well deserving of being pulled up to D1 this next year.”
The Trojans (3-4, 2-3) defense did well against Spring Valley last week, allowing only six points in the second half. During that game, Trojans QB TJ Milk put together a three-minute drive against the Grizzlies that went 75 yards downfield. Milk has been scrambling well to avoid the rush and has made some big plays on the QB run.
So far this year his big play makers while passing have been Devlin Dillon and Parker Hart. Look for both players to have big games.
The big guys are all fired up for the game. All week long offensive and defensive lineman Tyler Baumgarten has been toughening up the team.
As far as the run attack, the up-the-middle runners have been Tommy Gascoigne and Case Murphy. Gascoigne gets the tough yards up the middle and Murphy is more of a scat back.
The Trojans are hungry and will be going for the big upset at home.
This will be the final meeting for football against Faith Lutheran as this team will be playing in Division I next year.
Despite some close losses this year, Gent is optimistic for the future of Trojans football.
“I’m always proud when our boys do their best,” he said. “The future is bright for Trojans football and we have to finish this season strong.”
-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com