|Siena Heights (3-3)||7||0||7||0||14|
|Siena Heights||Indv. Leaders||Taylor|
|#11 Curtis Smith - 67||Rushing||#21 Tim Barrett - 69|
|#16 Lucas Barner - 153||Passing||#15 Everett Pollard - 75|
|#4 Deontae Rush - 61||Receiving||#81 Daniel Boy - 26|
|Siena Heights||Team Statistics||Taylor|
UPLAND, Ind. – Playing in front of a full house at Turner Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Taylor University football team delivered a 21-14 Homecoming and Family Weekend win over RV Siena Heights.
The Trojans got off to a sluggish start with only 18 yards of offense on 15 first-quarter plays but managed to stay within striking distance of the Saints, who had received votes in the latest NAIA Top-25 Poll.
TU found its stride on its second possession of the second quarter, as Tim Barrett busted free and streaked 46 yards to the end zone to draw Taylor even at 7-7. A quick three-and out by SHU gave the ball back to the Trojans at midfield and Everett Pollard hit Grant Hohlbein for a 22-yard strike that lifted the Purple and Gold to a 14-7 advantage with 4:42 remaining in the half.
The score remained there until early into the third quarter, when Pollard connected on a four-yard pass to Hans Lundberg in the end zone to cap a five-play drive that pushed the spread to 21-7 in favor of the Trojans.
The Saints drew within a single score with a third-quarter touchdown of their own and drove into Taylor territory on each of their last two possessions of the game. The TU defense was up to the task, turning away the SHU attack both times.
The Trojans served up a pair of game-saving defensive plays after Siena Heights had moved the ball to the nine-yard line. Cameron Gray and Jeremy Ramirez started by dropping the SHU carrier for a loss of one on third down and Darius Stanley finished the threat by corralling a Saint for a loss of seven on the ensuing fourth-down attempt.
Taylor turned away SHU's last attempt as well, with Dovi Gamble turning in a key pass breakup, before a dropped pass on fourth down handed the ball back to the Trojans with 1:53 left to play.
Back-up quarterback, Wilson Alexander, sealed the victory by scampering 47 yards on a keeper on the first play of the drive and Taylor ran out the clock to secure the 21-14 win.
Siena Heights held advantages in total first downs and total yards of offense, while winning the turnover battle but Taylor pounded out the victory with 234 yards on the ground and a nine-minute edge in time of possession.
Gray led the gutsy defensive effort from Taylor with nine hits and Ben Rupert, Stanley Gilbert, Ramirez and Stanley all added sacks. Ramirez also forced and recovered a fumble and Austan Shope provided a key interception.
The TU offense only completed nine passes in the victory, with two going for touchdowns from Pollard to Hohlbein and Lundberg. Barrett provided 69 yards and a score on the ground, with Richardson Giordani adding 67 yards, Alexander rushing for 44 and Pollard ending with 40.
The Trojans (3-5, 1-3 MSFA) will return to action on October 22, when they head north to take on RV Concordia (4-3, 1-1 MSFA) in a 1:00 pm start in Ann Arbor, Michigan.