Trojans soar past Saydel

24 game losing streak falls in home opener

South Tama County’s Brayden Smith (10) scores with a quarterback keeper in the Trojans opening series of their first game of the season. The Trojans broke a 24 game losing streak, 55-6, on Friday in a matchup with Saydel. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

It’s been a very long three seasons for South Tama County. The last win for Trojans was in 2016 when STC defeated Vinton 46-29 September 23.

That all changed Friday.

Friday night the STC Trojans put an end to the 24 game losing streak in quite an epic fashion.

South Tama hosted Saydel, defeating the Eagles 55-6. Due to the 35 point rule, the clock ran for much of the second half.

Starting on offense, STC set the tone early in the evening.

South Tama’s Kalem Schrock (65) recovers a fumble during the Trojans matchup with Saydel Friday evening. The Trojans defeated Saydel 55-6. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

In the third play of the Trojans opening series, STC quarterback Brayden Smith broke free scoring the Trojans first touchdown of the night. The extra point by Uriel Martinez was good and the Trojans were off to the races.

Smith, who is a second year starter for the Trojans, led in rushing yards with 115 in 16 carries.

In Saydel’s opening series, the Eagles fumbled the ball after a tackle by Jordan Bly. With his teammates and coaches on the sidelines jumping and hollering, Kalem Schrock found the ball and recovered the fumble.

With STC back on offense in their own territory, Smith once again found the end zone. Martinez’s extra point attempt was good.

And just like that with less than two minutes off the clock the Trojans were up 14-0.

Payton Vest (2) finds the endzone Friday evening in the Trojans first game of the season. They defeated Saydel 55-6. Kyler Smith (3) is pictured in the background giving the touchdown sign. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

STC scored twice more in what was arguably the longest quarter of high school football. It lasted roughly an hour in large part due to penalties from Saydel.

There were also a couple of planned timeouts for sanitization purposes which is all part of some new IHSAA rules in the age of playing sports during COVID-19.

Midway through the first quarter, Smith connected with Payton Vest to put the Trojans up 20-0. Vest was Smith’s go to for the evening. Vest ended the night with 13 carries for 80 yards. He also had 22 receiving yards.

Smith later connected with Matt Wiese in the first quarter bringing the Trojans to a 28-0 lead.

Saydel scored just once in the first quarter as quarterback Judd Roberts connected with a receiver.

From that point on the Trojans exhibited a commanding performance for the rest of the evening.

Smith and Vest each scored in the second quarter. STC’s Boden Koehler also got into the mix with a touchdown. The efforts had the Trojans leading 48-6 at half.

Halftime did the Eagles no favors. They continued to make mistakes and collect penalties that were costly.

The Trojans also had a couple of penalties of their own that could have been avoided. Head Coach Nate Doran wants to remedy that.

“The biggest thing we did was stupid penalties, mouth talking. That’s not our game and they know that and we will fix that,” Doran said.

STC’s Kalem Schrock led the defensive effort with three tackles and the fumble recovery from the first quarter.

The outcome was a much needed sigh of relief for the many of the seniors who have yet to see a varsity win.

“It feels great. It’s been approaching three years. I went through it last year so it feels great to finally get it done,” Smith said.

Smith recognized he couldn’t have done what he did without protection from his line helping him create opportunities to score.

“I’ve got to give props to the offensive line. They really made some big holes for me and Payton. That really opened things up,” Smith said.

For Vest the win was a long time coming.

“It feels like we’ve lost for two years. It’s unexplainable. It feels good,” Vest said.

Practice makes perfect for Vest.

“I thought we came to play. We had two weeks of really good practice and we were mentally ready for it,” Vest said.

He doesn’t see too many differences from this year playing during a global pandemic and last season. He’s just grateful to be here.

“I thought the season was going to be canceled so it feels really good to play. I didn’t expect to be here. It doesn’t feel that much different, looking up in the stands. The support from the town is still here which feels really good,” Vest said.

For Doran this is his first win since taking over the program in 2016.

“The kids earned it. As a coach it feels awesome to get over the hump. The last couple of weeks our practices have been high energy and competitive. They are tired of losing. Hats off to Saydel. They came out blazing too. I feel good,” Doran said.

Doran was pleased with defensive efforts noting the db situation and pass coverage.

The Trojans will go up against Class 3A 2nd ranked Grinnell tonight (Friday). The game will be held in Marshalltown due to damages sustained to Grinnell’s field from the derecho.

“We have to prepare for the number two team in the state. We’ve got to watch their film and watch our film and see what we did well and go from there,” Smith said.