Rushville sends New Castle to defeat
August 27, 2012North Central Conference
New Castle's football team firmly believes it is improved from seasons past. But so far the Trojans aren't proving it on the scoreboard.
Rushville defeated New Castle 41-21 Friday night at Huffman Field. Coach Mark Luzadder's team wanted so much to show that the season-opening loss at Greenfield was an aberration, not truly indicative of what this team is like.
But when Rushville quarterback Clay Tressler exploded for an 80-yard touchdown run on the third play of the game, the doubts arose once again.
Rushville (1-1) was in control of the game the rest of the way, New Castle scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the score more respectable.
The Lions had a relentless running game that piled up 314 yards on the ground. Rusvhille attempted only five passes, completing two.
Tanner Engel scored 20 of New Castle's 21 points: all three touchdowns, plus a two-point conversion. His touchdowns came on runs of 6, 29 and 9 yards.
"We didn't have any momentum until the fourth quarter," Luzadder said. "We wait until we're in a losing mode before we turn it on. It's like these players have lost so much in he past that they're comfortable with being behind. We can't be like that. We've got an offense that can score points, but we can't wait until the fourth quarter."
Mistakes on special teams hurt the Trojans. They fumbled on two kickoff returns in the third quarter. Rushville turned one of them into a quick touchdown.
New Castle's passing game, which was one of the bright spots in the game at Grenfield, was inconsistent against Rushville. The Trojans completed 6-of-15 passes with one interception for 74 yards.
"Rushville had a great game plan," Luzadder said. "They came out and covered our receivers very well. But we also dropped some passes and missed a few reads."
The Trojans head to Marion next Friday for the first of seven straight North Central Conference games. Luzadder expects his team to be at full strength for the first time. Markus Meredith, Cody Razor and Johnny Luna will be in action after siiting out first two weeks.
"We've got to get over this loss," the Trojan first-year coach said. "We cannot hang our heads and think about this game. "We've got to hit the field right away and get ready for Marion."