Titans can't build momentum against Warriors
Sept. 30, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.
• WHEN: 7:30 p.m. start, Friday at Ray Akins WIldcat Stadium
• RADIO: KNAL 1410 AM
The popular '90's rock band Bush penned the lyric: "It's the little things that kill."
On Friday, the little things led to a tough home loss for the Victoria East Titans.
A combination of turnovers, penalties and not moving the chains took the game from being a competitive District 30-4A opener to an easy Tuloso-Midway win early in the fourth quarter.
Not only did the fumbles and interceptions take away a chance to put points on the board, each one proved to be a momentum shifter that put T-M out in front by more and more on Friday.
"When we ran our stuff, we went places, but we messed up on the little things," said sophomore receiver Jonathan Ortega. "Dropping the ball, fumbling, the little things killed us today."
East had the ball and a chance to cut into the 21-12 Tuloso-Midway lead to begin the second half.
Three straight drives to open the third quarter ended with fumbles, and worse, ended up turning into 21 T-M points.
The momentum swing from the first one, which came on the second play of the drive at midfield, was the most painful of the three. It snapped a Titans drive, and turned what was just a 9-point deficit into an almost three-score game.
Drives did them in
In general, the offense struggled to stay on the field Friday.
Tuloso-Midway managed the clock well to begin the game, keeping the defense on the field for the first seven-plus minutes of the game, but also played strong defense and forced turnovers to get the defense back on the field.
The Titans managed only nine first downs and converted one of their seven third down opportunities.
Tuloso-Midway managed 21 first down, and ran ran 64 offensive plays through three quarters . In that same time frame, the Titans ran 27 plays.
Waiving the flag
The Titans were flagged only twice in the first half for 10 yards.
The second half wasn't so tame. East got eight penalties for 75 yards in the final two quarters.
"We've got to learn how to play smart, keep the frustration in and keep playing football," said junior wide receiver Deondric Lofton.
After allowing the fifth Tuloso-Midway touchdown of the game, frustration got the best of East late in the third quarter.
A too many men on the field penalty followed by a personal foul took the ball from the Warriors 42 to the Titans 28 and made the field shorter.
East picked up 16 yards of offense and was flagged for 45 yards in the third quarter.
Up Next: Gregory-Portland
The Titans look to get back on the winning track against Gregory-Portland on Friday.
Last year, the Titans won a physical road game 28-14.
Devin Bisby is once again Gregory-Portland's main offensive threat.
Bisby is averaging 164 yards per game and has scored 12 of the Wildcats' 20 rushing touchdowns this season. He has taken 54 percent of Gregory-Portland's rushing carries.
The East run defense will be tested once again. The Titans are allowing 197 yards per game, including 251 against Tuloso-Midway.
Lofton, who left Friday's game with a right knee injury, said he would be ready to play against the Wildcats.