NEW PARIS — The National Trail football team lost its homecoming game to the visiting Arcanum Trojans, 52-0. The shutout loss was the fourth on the year for the Blazers, who continue to struggle offensively this season.
The first quarter opened up on a rough start, as the Trojans scored on their first play from scrimmage on a long touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead.
When Trail had the ball, they in turn had a big run from Jacob Heck who was brought down at the Arcanum 18-yard line. Despite the field position into the red zone, the Blazers failed to produce any points. Arcanum gained the benefit of a second big run on its next possession to cap the drive with a touchdown.
Up 14-0, Arcanum hit pay dirt a third time to end the first quarter with a 20-0 lead.
Fog rolled onto the field in the second quarter, but this did not stop the onslaught by the visiting Trojans. They conducted one scoring drive after another, while allowing Trail to move the ball, but keeping them out of the end zone.
After adding two touchdowns, Arcanum was up, 32-0.
National Trail’s few good moments included three missed Arcanum extra-point kicks, either by blocks or misses.
The second half didn’t go much better for Trail, as each drive suffered penalties, miscues and turnovers that merely added insult to injury.
Arcanum responded by adding two more touchdowns in the third quarter, one on a fumble recovery by the defense, another on a 22-yard run set up by another NT lost fumble.
The Blazers suffered four fumbles and four penalties in the quarter. The fourth quarter started out with both teams putting in their junior varsity players, which slowed down the pace of the game. Arcanum scored on the NT backups, benefiting from a quarterback keeper who broke a number of tackles for a 42-yard run.
With the score 52-0, the Blazers were stopped on their drive and were forced to punt, but the Trojans muffed the return and suffered a backward fumble. The ball was recovered by the Blazer defense which, by rule, cannot be returned by the defense. Unfortunately, Trail suffered a sack and a fumbled snap to kill the last chance for points, ending the game.
Heck led the Blazers with 88 yards rushing, and Lucas Boggs had 11 tackles to lead defensively.
Trail (1-5, 0-3 in the CCC) returns to action next Friday, Oct. 7, with a conference contest at winless Mississinawa Valley (0-6.)
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH