On a sweltering opening Friday night for high school football, the Decatur Eagles were routed 49-13 by the Trinity Christian Trojans.
In a game played at Tom Landry Stadium in Addison, the Eagles struck first as senior receiver Cain Lowe made a leaping grab to pull down a pass fired across the middle of the field by quarterback Grayson Muehlstein. Lowe turned upfield and tumbled into the end zone on the 27-yard pass just four minutes into the game.
The play was set up when the Decatur defense scooped up a fumble after a pass.
But that momentum soon turned the other way after the Trojans proceeded to score on their next four possessions.
“Our defense played well but we just kept letting them convert on third and fourth downs and we couldn’t,” said Decatur head coach Kyle Story. “We played a real good team tonight. They are going to win a lot of games.”
Trojan junior quarterback Christian Hutzler exploited the Decatur defense with a flurry of short passes, finding his receivers in space and giving them opportunities to rack up yards and put points on the board. He made touchdown passes of 34 and 10 yards before the first quarter expired.
By the time the night ended, Hutzler had completed 24 of 41 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns.
Decatur also had no answer for junior running back Nahshon Ellerbe. The 5-10 185 pounder put together a highlight reel, scoring on runs of two and 30 yards in the second quarter.
But Decatur proved they still had fight left in them when Muehlstein found a soft spot in the Trojan defense. He hit Lowe over the middle on back-to-back passes of more than 30 yards. On the second strike Lowe grabbed the ball in full stride and zig-zagged through a swarm of defenders into the end zone.
Decatur finished the first half down just two scores at 28-13, but it was as close as they would get.
Just a few minutes into the second half, Ellerbe grabbed a short pass in the flat, turned upfield and dashed 65 yards untouched down the sideline. A couple of drives later he spun out of a tackle into the endzone on a short run.
Ellerbe accounted for 108 yards on the ground, averaging nine yards per carry and notching three rushing touchdowns. He added another 135 receiving yards on nine receptions and tacked on another touchdown through the air.
Despite the lopsided score, Story said his team has showed improvement since last week’s scrimmage.
“I like their effort,” Story said. “I tell them the scoreboard will take care of itself. They just have to keep playing hard.”
Muehlstein was 11-for-21 for 183 yards and two touchdowns. He racked up another 40 yards on the ground but suffered several sacks, some for large losses.
“I thought Muehlstein threw the ball well, and got it to our receivers; he didn’t have any turnovers,” Story said.
TRINITY CHRISTIAN 49, DECATUR 13
Decatur … 6 … 7 … 0 … … 0 … – … 13
Trinity … 14 … 14 … 14 … … 7 … – … 49
Decatur – 7:54, Grayson Muehlstein 27 passto Cain Lowe; Clark Allen kick failed
Trinity – 6:09, Hutzler 34 pass to Brock Thomas; two-point conversion made
Trinity – 1:56, Hutzler, 10 pass to Harrison Woodard; kick failed
Trinity – 10:42, Nahshon Ellerbe two-yard run; Alexander Beiersdorf kick
Trinity – 4:24, Ellerbe 30-yard run; Beiersdorf kick
Decatur – 3:09, Muehlstein 40 pass to Lowe; Allen kick
Trinity – 7:32, Hutzler 65 pass to Ellerbe; Beiersdorf kick
Trinity – 1:40, Ellerbe 1-yard run; Beiersdrof kick
Trinity – 9:03, Hutzler 7 pass to Will Troop; Beiersdorf kick
DECATUR … TRINITY
First Downs … 22 … 28
Rushes Yards … 92 … 139
Passing Yards … 183 … 360
Total Yards … 275 … 499
Comp-Att-Int … 11-21 … 26-43-0
Punts … 5-21 … 0-0
Fumbles lost … 1-0 … 2-1
Penalties … 7-70 … 6-70
Rushing – Decatur, Eddie Martinez 13-48; Trinity, Ellerbe 12-108 3 TDs
Receiving – Decatur, Lowe 4-149 2 TDs; Trinity, Ellerbe 9-135 1 TD
Passing – Decatur, Muehlstein 11-21-183 2 TDs; Trinity, Hutzler 24-41-312 4 TDs