Truman rallies to stun St. Joseph Central

By Cody Thorn The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: September 23, 2016 - 9:47 PM

In an offensive shootout, a pair of defensive stops in the final quarter vaulted Truman to a 51-48 victory over Central in a Suburban Conference Red game at Noyes Field.

The Patriots won for the third straight time against the Indians and for the second year in a row won by three points – 35-32. This victory looked improbable given the 12-point deficit entering the fourth quarter for Truman.

“We win, so we feel good, and they lose, so they feel terrible, it is one play either way,” Truman coach Gregg Webb said. “It still doesn't hide the fact of our issues defensively. Nobody wants to see this film and talk about how to play defense.

“Our defense has, obviously, some issues but they grew up a lot. They made plays when we had to and we hadn't done that all year. We finally started to make some plays.”

Truman (3-3, 1-2) faced a 48-36 deficit when it got the ball back with 30 seconds in the third quarter after Central (1-5, 1-2) missed a 43-yard field goal attempt.

Coming off a 75-point showing against Van Horn last week, the Patriots started the comeback on a 10-yard drive that featured three plays of 10 yards or more. Quarterback Aaron Lehman, who ran for 241 yards, had a 15-yard run that moved Truman into the red zone and Juan Flores' 3-yard touchdown cut Central's lead down to 48-42.

Central went three-and-out on the next drive and punted. Two plays later, Flores broke away from two tacklers at the 45-yard line and kept running. His 66-yard touchdown run with 7 minutes, 46 seconds left gave Truman the lead back in the high-scoring affair.

The Indians had the ball twice more, down by three, but came up short. A fourth-and-one from their own 46 saw the Indians come up short after a blitzing TJ Scott stopped Izzy Smith for no gain.

Truman turned the ball over and Central got the ball back with 2:46 remaining at its 48-yard line.

Two big plays defined that drive for the Indians, playing only their second home game of the year.

Quarterback Dawson Page gained 18 yards on a keeper, but a flag on the play negated the first down and adding in the penalty, Central lost 33 yards of field position with just more than two minutes left.

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