Truman tops SJ Central, ends losing streak
By Thomas Huitt-Johnson St. Joseph News-Press
After the Central Indians saw what the Truman Patriots had accomplished Friday night at Noyes Field, coach Jeff Wallace had no excuses.
Truman defeated Central 54-35 to pick up its first win since Sept. 28, 2012 — a 35-15 victory against Ruskin. The Indians surrendered 605 total yards of offense, including 503 on the ground to snap a 16-game Patriots’ losing skid.
“In the last couple of years we would out-athlete people at times, and tonight it happened to us,” Wallace said. “Quite honestly, there isn’t a great answer to (our defense) right now. But I will say this: I look out there tonight and they were scratching and crawling and trying to get there. ... We just got out-athleted tonight, and that’s plain and simple. You can write that 10 times.”
The rushing attack was just one problem. After starting quarterback Dean Clemons left the game with cramps late in the third quarter, junior running back Jordan Salima stepped in to run the wildcat offense. In doing so, he faced a 3rd-and-11 at Central’s 41-yard line, and immediately the Indians went for the sweep.
Instead, Salima popped back roughly five yards and found wide receiver Andreas Sese alone in the end zone for the 41-yard strike. That put the Patriots on top 47-28 with 10 minutes, 25 seconds left in the game. Truman coach Gregg Webb said that play emotionally tipped the balance for his squad. The other came moments later.
Linebacker Jaylin Williams stepped back into coverage and picked off Jacob Hess to stall the Indians’ next drive drive. Then, Tre’Von Sorrells — who had a game-high 223 yards rushing — sprinted 51-yards up the middle for his third score of 40-plus to end any hope for the Indians.
“They were in a cover zero where they all had a man. I knew (Salima) would have a chance,” Webb said. “I look over at our defensive coordinator, and we couldn’t stop them in 100 years it didn’t seem like it, so he said, ‘Whether they go 50 yards or 80 yards it didn’t matter.’ And so we took a chance.”
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