Coming off the first win of the season, Tri-City United football coach Ken Helland was expecting his team to come out firing Friday night against Luverne.
Instead, an injury to senior starting quarterback/defensive back Adam Fredrickson in the first quarter zapped the Titans of their spark, and eventually led to a 47-8 defeat.
“It certainly hurt losing one of our seniors, we lost our quarterback, so that was an issue early on and we did not respond really well,” Helland said. “We just have to get over, get back to business and get ready for next week.”
The Cardinals (4-2, 2-1 South Central Conference) scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and eventually carried a 33-0 advantage into halftime.
TCU (1-5, 1-2) scored its lone touchdown of the game in the third quarter, when junior Kayden Factor broke up the middle on a fourth down for a 27-yard touchdown scamper, before Factor rushed in the two-point conversion.
“We played a little better in the second half,” Helland said. “Our second-team guys came in in the second half and played pretty hard and pretty well. The first half, I’m just really disappointed with our effort. We just didn’t play hard enough. We played well last week and we just didn’t bring that same energy and that same attitude to tonight’s game.
“I thought we ran hard in that third quarter there with all of our backs, and into the fourth quarter,” Helland added. “That’s encouraging and what we’ve been preaching. We want to run a little harder with the football and get our pad level down and we did that a little bit better.”
Factor led the Titans with 36 yards rushing on seven attempts, sophomore Riece Narum tallied 33 yards on five rushing attempts, senior Brandon Balma sped to 20 yards on four attempts and junior Mason O’Malley powered to 23 yards on 10 attempts.
Of TCU’s 138 yards of offense, 132 came on the ground.
Helland said he hopes his team is able to supplement that rushing attack with additional air yardage entering next Friday’s homecoming matchup against Belle Plaine (2-4, 2-1).
“It’s homecoming week, so we’ve got lots of stuff going on,” Helland said. “Hopefully we’ll get up and excited for that and get ready to play.”