HARTSVILLE - The East Robertson Indians (3-4, 1-2) traveled to Trousdale County (5-2, 3-0) for their biggest game of the year. After a scoreless fourth quarter for the Indians, East Robertson fell short 36-22 for their second region loss of the year.
East attempted and recovered three onside kicks, but the officials only allowed one of them to count, which gave Trousdale County multiple short-field opportunities to score.
Despite the two-touchdown difference, the Indians maintained possession and control throughout the game and came up just short of getting the win.
Trousdale took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but East answered right back on a 6-yard run by Cameron Swift. Starting the second quarter, Swift ran it in for a 4-yard run to give East Robertson the 14-7 lead. Just before halftime, Trousdale answered with a 9-yard run, followed by a two-point conversion to make it 15-14.
East opened up the second half with a 10-minute drive, all the way down field for a 1-yard run by Johnny Lyons and a two-point conversion by Swift.
The Jackets added two back-to-back touchdowns off turnovers to make it a 29-22 game. The Indians faced fourth-and-long, deep in their own territory, running a trick play that would have given them a first down on the 50-yard line, but an official called a penalty on them, making it fourth-and even longer. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, the Indians called for a Hail Mary, just out of the fingertips of Lyons and knocked away by the Jackets' secondary - resulting in an easy first-and-goal for Trousdale on the 5-yard line. They punched it in easily and made it a 36-22 game with less than a minute to go.
Swift went 0-for-5 passing with two interceptions, but carried the ball 49 times for 184 yards and two touchdowns. East Robertson strung together 202 total offensive yards, out-rushing the Jackets by 81 yards. On defense, Lyons led with one fumble recovery and six tackles - including one for a loss of yards.
"I really am proud of them," East Robertson coach Chad Broadrick said. "We just have to find a way to finish. We didn't finish against Jo Byrns and we didn't finish against Trousdale and that's making all of the difference."
The Indians are on a bye this week, then prepare for the home stretch of the regular season, which is going to be the most important three games of their season.
"We still have a lot left to play for," Broadrick said. "I'm not worried about falling off. They were upset after last night and that shows that they really care. We had two of our best offensive practices this week that I've seen as a player or a coach and it really showed on the field. Most of the battle is wanting to do it and they're really motivated to win."