When the Fr. Tolton Regional Catholic football team travels to meet Westran on Friday, the Trailblazers (0-2) hope to get the signature victory they saw slip away a week before in a 32-28 loss to Southern Boone.
At its home opener Friday entering its second year as a varsity program, Tolton led Southern Boone 21-8 at halftime. Tolton quarterback Christian Elliott had 127 yards and two touchdowns in the half.
Elliott, also playing on defense, left the game midway through the third quarter with an injury and was unable to return. The Eagles rallied for the win.
On Wednesday, Tolton coach Chad Masters said Elliott is scheduled to start against Westran.
After the loss to Southern Boone, the team reflected on the lessons it learned. Certainly, there was progress made after losing 61-0 to the Eagles just a year before.
"We're a much better football team this year than last year, there's no doubt about that," Masters said after the game. "There's been definite strides made. We were in the game, we had a chance to win it, couldn't close it, but we're just not there yet. It's a process. It's a progression. Now, we're starting to see what it can be. We've just got to constantly keep progressing."
Masters said his team, in the end, was unable to make up for turnovers, penalties and mental mistakes it made late in the game.
"We come away from this (learning) how to play when we're up," said senior center Orie Hemme afterward. "We've never been in that situation as a team, and it's just a growing experience. It teaches us what to do next time. We come back and pop them in the face and win the next game."
Westran is ranked third in Class 1 after outscoring its first two opponents 78-6. Tolton lost the matchup last year 48-0.