The Warriors came into their second game of the season against Wilson Sept. 7 determined to come out on top. The Trojans’ struggles on the football field are similar to Cleveland’s, with both schools dropping to the 5A level. This was a game to see who had succeeded in revamping their team.
To prepare, Cleveland had to overcome the preseason complications of finding practice fields until the stadium turf was installed, and the emotional hard fought overtime loss to Franklin in the season opener. Despite these challenges, the Warriors were showing signs of competitiveness and were ready to go on the road and defeat the Trojans.
The game didn’t start well for Cleveland. The first possession was a five-play drive ending in a touchdown for the Trojans. The Trojans added another score for a 14-0 lead.
Despite this the Warriors seemed unfazed
Senior running back Maxwell Gillen spoke on his attitude during the game. “Even when we were down by 14 I never thought we were going to lose,” Gillen said.
The Warriors’ head coach Eric Fraser shared these feelings. “We never played like we were going to lose and I think that’s a huge improvement this year,” he said.
The mentality almost seemed like it was going to pay off when Gillen made a 21-yard run that put the Warriors on the board in the second quarter. This was the boost the Warriors needed, and they went on to score two more times, making the score 21- 28.
With the ball in their possession to start the final drive. Anything was possible. They drove the ball down the field and ending up scoring their fourth touchdown of the night. This scoring drive made it 27-28 and put Coach Fraser in a tough position. Don’t go for the extra point and consequently go into overtime, or go for the extra point and finish the thing. They went for the extra point and came up short.
“I felt like they were out executing us all night but we had the momentum on our side and we were fighting,” said Fraser, when looking back on the game.
Despite the close loss, the Warriors managed to come out of this loss with some impressive plays as well as clear growth. Gillen had 32 carries for a total of 147 yards and three touchdowns. Senior quarterback Jaydon Hamblin had 122 passing yards, including a 53-yard touchdown pass.
However, the Warriors have a tough game ahead of them. They face the Wilsonville Wildcats at home on Sept. 14. The Wildcats are 2-0 after a 57-50 win over Churchill.