Tiger football falls short of winning SCAC championship

The football team made two goals during the preseason, win the SCAC conference and make it to the NCAA playoffs. However, as the season winds down the Tigers have fallen short of their goals.

With a .500 record the Tigers feel as though they have not played to their potential.

“Our season has been disappointing. We are only 4-4 and I know we can achieve a lot more; we just had some simple mistakes and some key injuries that really hurt us,” said first-year punter Frank Ashford.

Both first-string and second-string quarterbacks Mason Blaschke and Robert Broyles were injured early in the season. Blaschke fractured and dislocated his wrist during the Tigers’ first game against Howard Payne on Saturday, Sept. 7. A few weeks later, Broyles tore his ACL.

Another problem that the Tigers feel hindered them from reaching their full potential was lack of team chemistry.

“Team chemistry was good at the beginning of the season, but then decreased as the season went on. We just were not always on the same page and once we started losing games it didn’t help our chemistry,” said junior wide receiver Darrian Sommers.

However, there are also positives the Tigers have taken from this season.

“We are continually adjusting and working towards improvement on a weekly basis Our guys love the game of football.  We have never quit this year.  We’ve played hard to the last whistle even in defeat,” said outside linebacker and special teams assistant coach Brant McAdams.

The Tigers have two games left against Southwestern University and Austin College. Even if they win both, undefeated Texas Lutheran University (6-0), who joined the conference this year, will clinch its first SCAC championship and move on to playoffs.

This will end the two time conference winning streak of the Tigers and their domination of conference football.

“It’s Trinity. We were used to making playoffs and winning conference,” said junior defensive back Paulses Kollie.

Even though the Tigers are out of contention for winning the conference title they still feel as though the season can end on a good note.

“We want to finish the last two games strong to send our seniors off on a high note and so we can build on that momentum in the offseason preparing for 2014,” McAdams said.

The Tigers are also  hopeful about next year and feel that they know what part of their game and team they need to strengthen to be more successful.

“We want to work on building more depth. Also, we want to work on our pass protection, run protection and pass running,” Ashford said.

Additionally many players will be returning for next season with more experience. The Tigers are only graduating 11 seniors out of 103 players on the team.

“(This season) we are fairly young, so we are continually finding new leaders and playmakers on the team as guys get different opportunities,” McAdams said.

Next, the Tigers take on Southwestern University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9 at home. Then, they wrap up their season with Senior Day, which is Nov. 16 at Austin College.