Trojans drop ECC opener, but still have ‘every opportunity’ to achieve their goals

Tyler Flanigan, 4, catches a 28-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter as Evan Gottis, 15, and Jordan Harris, 26, look on and celebrate. Flanigan caught 6 balls for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Tyler Flanigan, 4, catches a 28-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter as Evan Gottis, 15, and Jordan Harris, 26, look on and celebrate. Flanigan caught 6 balls for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
By Chris Chaney
Sun staff

The Glen Este Trojans are walking a fine line now four weeks into the 2013 season. Sitting at 1-3, the prevailing thought is that the Trojans are a much better team than their win-loss record would indicate, but as Bill Parcells famously said, “you are what your record says you are.”

“Which is it?” Trojan fans are wondering. Head coach Nick Ayers believes it’s the former, but says that you cannot discount the latter.

“If you look at the level of the competition that we’re playing, it’s high,” he said. “That’s what we want to prepare us for league play, so when we get into league play we don’t want to be in a position that we’ve never been up, we’ve never been down, we don’t want to say we haven’t been in tough games. We just want to play the best we can.

“Now that we’re getting into the thick of our league play, we just want to play well. We have a ton of stuff to work on, but there’s also a ton of positives to come out of this.”

The Trojans looked to be the better team through the first half of their Thursday night matchup with Loveland in the team’s ECC opener in Week Four.

Glen Este threw a balanced attack at the Tigers, mixing Jordan Harris runs with Tyler Pilcher passes, two of which Tyler Flanigan caught and found pay dirt.

A 14-9 halftime lead had Trojan Stadium excited about a breakout game and statement win to begin the conference schedule, but a Loveland 80-yard kick-off return for a touchdown to open up the second half was a punch to the Trojans’ collective gut.

“They made a big play on special teams (to start the half) and it kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Ayers said. “(Loveland) stuck with their game plan. They pressed their corners up on our receivers and didn’t let us hit anything underneath like we normally would.

“We didn’t respond (to the kickoff return) like we wanted to, but Loveland’s a great team and you can’t do that against a good team and expect to win.”

The silver lining for the Trojans after losing three straight is that there have been bright spots and there’s a heck of a lot of football left to be played this season.

Some of those bright spots include the play of sophomore quarterback Tyler Pilcher who went 9-for-15 for 130 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers. Pilcher’s big target on the outside, Flanigan, caught six balls for 92 yards and a pair of scores.

In the backfield, senior running back Jordan Harris ran hard for the Trojans racking up 93 yards on 18 carries.

Those bright spots must continue to shine over the next few weeks as the Trojans dive head first into ECC play. The Trojans’ next five games will be in conference and dropping one game isn’t the end of the world.

Ayers was short and sweet in what the Trojans need to work on to be successful in the ECC, saying, “(we need to) block on the perimeter offensively and tackle better on defense.”

Glen Este’s next opponent will be the Turpin Spartans, a familiar foe that Ayers expects to try to do what they’ve done in the past.

“Turpin is Turpin,” he said. “They throw the ball well. They have a few young guys that they use at the running back spot. (Spencer) Singh is a great player and they do a great job with him and they’re always going to be coached well.

“Rob (Stoll)’s a great coach and they have some Glen Este guys on the staff now, so they’re going to understand what we do. We just need to coach well and prepare our kids the right way and we’ll be successful.”

The first four games of the season won’t define his team, Coach Ayers says and the goals and expectations remain the same.

“We still have a long way to go,” the coach said. “We still have six games to go. Five of them are league games and we have every opportunity to achieve all of our goals.

“You want to win every game, but that’s not reality when you play who we play. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce our way, but if we continue to execute this season will still be successful.”

The next opportunity for the Trojans will be on Sept. 27 at Turpin. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.