STEGER | After a solid game by the Bloom Township defense, a late fumble by the offense was too to overcome.
Rich Central used the fourth-quarter Bloom Township fumble to get the go-ahead touchdown and defeat the Blazing Trojans 12-10 in Southland Athletic Conference action.
Lawrence Evans had two interceptions for Bloom and returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown. Evans' score was his team's only touchdown of the game.
"We watched film all week and knew what we had to do to beat them," Evans said. "We just couldn't go get the W."
Trailing by two points with 1:54 left in the game, Bloom had a fourth and five from the Rich Central 10-yard line. The Blazing Trojans decided not to kick, and the play resulted in an incomplete pass. A field goal try would have been a 27-yard attempt from the left hash in windy conditions at Bloom's back. Bloom kicker, Marquis Jones, hit a 27-yard attempt earlier in the game a straight at the uprights.
"I have more confidence in the offense than the kicking game," Bloom coach Tony Palombi said of the decision not to kick. "(Jones) is doing a nice job for us, but because he's a straight ahead kicker, we just figured we would go with the offense."
Bloom (3-2, 1-1) jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter on the field goal and Evans' score, but the Olympians slowly crawled back into the game. A 10-yard pass from Rich Central quarterback Michael Hoover to DeQuan Dudley cut the Bloom lead to 10-6. The Bloom fumble at their own 33-yard line with 7:43 to go in the game set up the winning score for Rich Central.
"We have to step it up in practice and work harder every single day," Evans said. "We just have to keep pushing and pushing to be better."
Bloom held the Olympians to 199 yards of total offense, while the Blazing Trojan offense had 181 total yards. With the loss, the Blazing Trojans fell to 1-1 in SAC play. Rich Central is now 5-0 on the season after winning only three games in 2012.
"We just can't make mistakes like we do in costly parts of the game," Palombi said. "That comes back to haunt you. We just need to go back and make sure we don't do it again."