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MTZ football improves to 4-0, cages Taylorville

Brayden Trimble powering through the Tornado defense in a 28-6 Mt. Zion win at Taylorville.

By BLAKE FAITH
Staff Writer

Two Apollo Conference Rivals with history, two 3-0 teams, one got homecoming and the other’s first away game is pressure for any team. In the first quarter a turnover by the Braves offense when wide-receiver Brayden Trimble one-handed catch, but was stripped fueled him and the Braves to a 28-6 win with 101 receiving yards and a touchdown from Trimble and 237 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown from Makobi Adams.

“I had to make up for that mistake for my team,” Trimble said. “That was all that was going through my mind. I messed up, but I tried to make it up in a big way for my team.”

On the first drive of the game, the Braves’ offense on 4th and 6 from the 28-yard line saw Adams fire a pass over the top to Trimble to get the Braves to the one-yard line. Adams finished it off with a rushing touchdown and Gabe Shumaker nailed the extra point to give the Braves a 7-0 lead.

The Braves’ defense forced the Tornadoes to punt on their first possession. Adams then threw a pass on 1st and 10 that Trimble grabbed one handed, but was stripped. The Braves’ defense then allowed the Tornados’ only score when Baron Odom threw a 12-yard passing touchdown to Cash Foraker. The Tornados failed to convert on the two-point conversion so the Braves remained on top 7-6.

The Braves offense landed the next blow. Adams threw a medium pass to Grant McAtee who ran to the right-side of the endzone for a 26-yard touchdown. Shumaker nailed the extra point attempt to put the Braves up 14-6.

The Braves’ defense forced the Tornado’s offense into a three and out that led to a punt. The punt landed in Trimble’s hands and he got the ball to the 31-yard line, cracking defenders on his way to that line.

Jayger Damarin rushed for 55-yards that got the Braves in red zone territory at the 14-yard line. Adams then fired a slant pass to McAtee for a 17-yard touchdown and extra point was good to give the Braves a 21-6 lead.

In the third quarter, the Braves’ defense continued to cage the Tornados’ offense. The Braves scored once more when Adams fired a 17-yard pass where the ball ended up in the hands of Trimble wide-open in the endzone to give the Braves a 28-6 lead.

“It means a lot that I’m scoring touchdowns, but also being able to create opportunities for others,” Trimble said. “It means obviously a lot of the work I’ve put in over the summer and also now that are getting double-teamed and targeted, others on this team are going to be open. It makes it even better once they’re able to score.”

The Braves defense continued their caging of the Tornado offense that ended with an interception by Jacob Harvey.

“It’s always good to win and Taylorville is a tough place to play and it’s a tough place to win, because they do some really good things offensively, defensively, and their kids play hard,” Head coach Patrick Ethertom said. “I thought we did fine. I thought we made enough plays, we turned the ball over more than we had and that’s disappointing, but we still scored enough points and I thought our kids did a nice job.”

The Braves improved to 4-0 overall and for Coach Etherton and his coaching staff it is their 50th win overall of their career and their second win at Taylorville.

“Being 4-0 is the most important thing, because of what we are doing,” Coach Etherton said. “The 50th win is the 50th win since we’ve been here myself, Coach Potempa and the rest of our staff and I think that says a lot for not only this group, but the groups of kids that come here before us and we’ve been here as our eighth year and we’ve got our 50th win. I think that’s special. And I think, as a coach, if you don’t enjoy some landmarks like that, you lose track of what we’re doing. We have had a lot of kids do a lot of things for us and blood, sweat, and tears and, and fight through injuries and get to that point for our program to win 50 games, I’m pretty happy about it.”

The Braves return home and will face Mattoon. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. on Friday night.

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