Created on Saturday, 31 August 2013 Written by AARON LaBATT
Dream big, play big.
That is the attitude for Triad’s football team this fall and the Cardinals delivered with a sensational season-opening victory Friday with the type of play indicative of their big goals.
ABOVE: Indian Lake’s Brennon Lump is tackled by Triad’s Andrew Zirkle after making a catch in bounds during their game Friday at Indian Lake High School.
FRONT PAGE: Triad’s Trent McIntyre bolts toward the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown run as Indian Lake’s Chris Teague, left, and Kurt Crockett, right, give chase during the first quarter of their game Friday at Indian Lake High School. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | AARON LaBATT)
Triad came out blazing in the first half of its season opener against host Indian Lake and locked up a 28-7 victory.
“Oh my God, yes, it was exactly how we wanted to start off,” said Triad boss Payton Printz. “One thing we have never done at Triad is have an undefeated season. Not to put pressure on these boys, but we told them you can’t do that unless you win the first game. That was a goal for us.”
It was extra special for the Cardinals after the Lakers rallied to beat them last year 40-33 in North Lewisburg.
“To come here and beat a Division IV team like Indian Lake, after they beat us last year, was going to be a daunting task for us. Our kids played unbelievable.”
It was a first half full of big plays for Triad as it used two touchdown passes of 40 yards or more and a fumble return for a score to account for 21 of the Cardinals’ 28 points.
“We had to get stops and eliminate the big plays early on and we didn’t,” said Indian Lake head coach Dave Coburn. “We had to control the ball and we didn’t. That led to a lot of our demise.
“Once we settled down, I thought we played well in the second half. We just didn’t play well as a team for four quarters. It was not our best performance.”
Indian Lake went 62 yards on its opening drive and closed it with a 27-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Christian Grider to Chris Teague. That put the Lakers up 7-0 with 8:38 on the clock.
“When Indian Lake went down and shoved it down our throats, I thought ‘oh no’,” said Printz. “Our guys responded quickly, though. We had some big plays tonight and that was huge for us time and time again.”
Triad only needed three plays to answer that score. Cardinals quarterback Trent McIntyre fired a 47-yard scoring pass to Doug Lowe and that evened the score at 7-7 with 7:23 left in the first quarter.
On the Cardinals’ next possession, a 34-yard catch by Tre McIntyre set up a 10-yard TD dash from the pocket by his brother Trent. That scoring run put Triad in front 14-7 with 1:39 to play in the opening quarter.
Then the game began to slip away from Indian Lake. The Triad defense got the best of the Lakers’ offensive line, which led to a quarterback sack that ended the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Triad’s Steven Feasel came up with his first of several big plays on the night. He scooped up a fumble and ran it back 28 yards for a TD. That gave the Cardinals a 21-7 advantage with 11:51 left before halftime.
Triad had another big play left in its bag of tricks before the break. Trent McIntyre found Lowe again, this time on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 6:18 left in the first half.
Indian Lake was never able to respond and Triad entered halftime on top 28-7.
There was no scoring in the second half by either team. Indian Lake came close midway through the third quarter. The Lakers used a halfback pass from Alex Jacobs to Brennon Lump to get inside Triad’s 20-yard line.
Indian Lake went for it on a fourth-and-one play, but Triad intercepted the ball.
“We had some huge plays tonight,” said Printz. “They got us out of some bad situations.
“Tim Marsalis got burnt on that halfback pass in the secondary, but he didn’t get down. He came back and got that interception at the goal line that prevented Indian Lake from scoring. It was plays like that all night that kept us alive.”
Trent McIntyre finished with 246 passing yards and two touchdowns and 16 rushing yards and a score, while Tre McIntyre had 47 rushing yards and 71 receiving yards.
Lowe led the Cardinal receivers with 165 yards and two scores on six catches.
Defensively, Feasel gave a standout performance with three sacks and two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown.
For Indian Lake, Lump finished with 160 receiving yards and Grider completed 17 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams go on the road next Friday as Indian Lake travels to Kenton Ridge and Triad travels to Marion Pleasant.
TRIAD 28, IL 7
Cardinals 1414 0 0 – 28
Lakers 70 0 0 – 7
TEAM STATISTICS TR IL
First downs 14 16
Total net yards 343 258
Rushes/yards 34/97 47/57
Passing 246 201
Punts/avg 3/30 4/33
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-2