Trojans ready to take on the challenge of rematch with unbeaten Pioneer

Triton's defense will need to be at it's best against explosive Pioneer
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

The saying goes that every journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Triton's Trojans began that journey four years ago and will try to take one more gigantic step this Friday night at home against Pioneer for the Regional title.
The Trojans set up the meeting with another convincing road win in the sectional final at North Judson, riding a big fourth quarter to victory.
"I was really pleased with the boys’ performance and I felt like we came up big as a program and it meant a lot," said Triton coach Ron Brown. "The kids had it in their head it was going to be their night. Not so much because they wanted it but because they had to do it. I think that showed with their play. I think that had a lot to do with the outcome. They were just unwilling to give them anything."
Triton has had no end of heroes to point to as the year has gone on. Friday was no different as another whole team effort brought home the win.
"Anytime anybody has talked to me about any one particular player I always have to say 'well how about this guy, and don't forget about this guy'", said Brown. "I was talking with my quarterback (James Snyder) today and he pointed out that our school record for receiving yards two years ago was 610 yards and we have two kids over that this year. That just speaks to where this program has been able to go and it just speaks to the ability of our players."
"That's what happens when you don't play with fear," he said. "When you don't play with fear a lot of good things can happen."
That theme has been the focus of practice as this week's opponent would strike fear into most. Coming to Bourbon is unbeaten Pioneer, averaging around 64 points a game and giving up just 2.7 on defense this season. The fact is, the Panthers have not lost a game since the state title game in 2016.
"We had some vocal team leaders stand up in practice and challenge everybody by saying 'Everybody in this room has to believe that we are going to go out there this week and win',” said Brown. "And that's the way we've been preparing. I don't think Pioneer would want us to do anything else. We are not going to make the road easy for them.
Pioneer is the last team able to beat the Trojans this season back in September. Since then, Triton has won six straight, its first sectional title since 2008 and set a school record with nine wins. It's also given the coaching staff more opportunities to watch film.
"Watching film I get the impression that every team that has played them has been afraid of them," said Brown. "And that gives them a lot more yards than they maybe should get. You have to go in with the mindset that these are high school athletes too. We are going to play one play at a time and we'll see where we are at the end of the game.
"We want to have good fundamentals and we want to show up to play on every single play."
The plan for the offense won't change.
"We are going to do exactly the same thing we've been doing offensively," said Brown. "I believe our kids are going to make plays and they are going to make them over and over. We have the confidence and belief that we are a good team that belongs on the same field with them and if that's the case good things will happen."
"What it all comes down to is what is the mindset of the players on the field. If they continue believe than it's going to be a very entertaining game to watch," said Brown. "We understand that they are very talented. That they have a great leader in their quarterback that is headed to Notre Dame, we get all that. We are still going to prepare, we are still going to show up because we are one of the final eight teams in 1A playing still and we are going to act like it.
Brown knows what he wants to see out of his troops come Friday.
"I want to see them attack the ball every single play and attack on offense and believe that they can get yardage and not stop themselves before the ball is even snapped," said Brown. "That's the biggest thing. We've talked about playing the players in the jerseys across the field from you and not the history of the school.
"Pioneer has a deep history that's been going on for 20 years but that doesn't mean we can't do some special things," he said. "The reality of it is that this team is coming in wanting to end our seniors football career. There's a lot on the line, a lot of emotions. We want to represent ourselves the best we can."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Triton High School.

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