Tigers fall to Titans, 20-14

Justin Sims
The Sherrard defense tries to catch Titan Bryan Utsinger.

The Monmouth-Roseville Titans outlasted Sherrard 20-14 Friday night to become playoff eligible and stake a claim for fourth place in the Olympic conference. Last season, four teams from the 

Olympic conference qualified for the playoffs.

After winning its first four games the Tigers are now at 4-4 and must win next week against Knoxville to have a chance at the playoffs.

After grabbing a 20-14 lead with 9:13 to go, the ball game, and possibly the Titans playoff hopes, came down to whether they could stop Sherrard on a first and 10 at the Titan 14-yard line with close to one minute to play.

After TitanPatrick Thompson made a game-saving defensive play on a pass to the endzone on second down, and the third down play resulted in no gain, the game came down to one play - fourth and 7 from the 11-yard line with 35 seconds left.

A wild Sherrard pass left the senior night crowd stunned and the Titans victorious.

The Titans came back from a 14-6 third quarter deficit to claim the victory.

It was a game marred by fumbles and turnovers from both teams. The Titans recovered five Sherrard fumbles.

“We probably made a mistake or two less than they did,” Titans coach Curt Crum said.

Sherrard scored on their first possession, and looked dominating  doing so, to claim an early 6-0 lead on a 54-yard touchdown run by Zach Miller. The Tigers never regained that form in the game.

Early momentum swung the Titans way when they capitalized on the first Sherrard fumble. Cody Schreck finished a 25-yard scoring drive with a three-yard run. The two-point conversion made it 8-6, which would be the halftime score.

After halftime, Sherrard scored quickly on Justin Miller’s second touchdown run of the game from five yards out to make it 14-8 after the two-point conversion.

The Titans responded quickly with a 14-yard scoring pass from Schreck to Bryan Utsinger to make the score 14-14 with 2:51 to go in the third quarter.

After a missed 26-yard field goal by the Titans with 10:29 to play, 

Sherrard lost yet another fumble and the Titans scored almost  immediately on a 13-yard run by Bryan Utsinger for the winning points.

“I think both teams played as hard as they possibly could,” Crum said. “I am just glad I got to see it.”

The Titans are now playoff eligible, and can clinch a playoff spot  with a win at Farmington next week.