22 points in fourth quarter still not enough to win

New Trier loses to Loyola in first playoff game

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22 points in fourth quarter still not enough to win

The team marches from NT to meet Loyola at  Hoerster Field | NT Athletics

The team marches from NT to meet Loyola at Hoerster Field | NT Athletics

The team marches from NT to meet Loyola at Hoerster Field | NT Athletics

The team marches from NT to meet Loyola at Hoerster Field | NT Athletics

Lexi Shoup

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After falling behind 35-10 at half, the football team stormed back, scoring 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, but fell short of the victory, losing their first playoff game to Loyola 35-32 on Oct. 28.

Getting outplayed in the first half and the third quarter, the Trevs found weaknesses in Loyola’s defense making big plays.

“We fought back and made it probably one of the more interesting high school football games that anybody would have seen this year,” said varsity head coach Brian Doll.

Doll said, “I think early on there was some shock and awe factor so we played a little tight and didn’t really operate as well as we could have.”

Reed Bianucci and Carson Ochsenhirt both had strong fourth quarters throwing and running the ball.

“Brian Kaiser had a couple big catches and Anthony Nicholas, Danny Passeri and our offensive line did a great job blocking,” said Doll.

The defense also had a big fourth quarter. “Our defense had some really big three and outs. Matt Mosher did a good job for us on defense, along with some of the linemen and Wilson MacRitchie, one of our linebackers.”

Senior long snapper Michael Vinson was proud of how the team played, “We were down going into halftime and we came out ready to play in the second half. We believed in each other and we knew that we could get the job done. We battled back and came up short by 3 points. I am very proud of this team and how we never gave up.”

Junior running back/outside linebacker Brian Sitzer attributes New Trier’s success to passing.

“Our receivers did a great job making plays and Reed and Carson did a great job getting the ball in the receivers hands. I think we gave up too many big plays to Loyola, but credit to them, they have some great players who made a difference in the game.”

The team felt prepared going into the game and excited to play Loyola for the first time since 2006. “We felt good knowing they are a great team but we felt like we had a good game plan and our kids were ready to play,” said Doll.

“We felt confident, we thought we were going to win. I was never more excited for a game in my life,” said senior tight end/wide receiver Brian Kaiser. “This is the most enjoyable team I’ve ever been a part of.”

After a solid week of practice, the boys felt well prepared to take on their rivals.

“We were all excited. We knew how important this game was and knew the environment was going to be intense with it being a rivalry. We had a great week of practice coming into the game on Saturday. I tried to stay focused throughout the week knowing how critical of a game it was,” said Sitzer.

With the season at an end, players and coaches are grateful for the successes they had.

“We had some difficult losses this year but sometimes it’s more than the wins and losses and this last game is a good reflection of that. We played as hard as we could, we fought as hard as we can, and sometimes that’s all you can ask. And I’m really proud of our guys for doing that,” said Doll.

However, the lack of a crowd at the game was a disappointment.

“We really didn’t have any fans. They were there and then they all left, so really we didn’t have anybody at the game. It’s very disappointing that none of the seniors stayed.”

New Trier will be playing Loyola again during week two next year.

“We’ll have the opportunity to play them two years now, next year at home so hopefully we’ll get a better crowd than we got this week,” said Doll.

Sitzer said, “This was a special team. We were really close and the friendships and bonds we made with each other will last a long, long time. We proved a lot of people wrong.”

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