UPLAND, Ind. – The Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University football team used a 20-point fourth quarter to close the 22-points hole to 12, but it was not enough as Taylor (Ind.) University won 38-26 in the regular season finale.
Lawrence Tech (1-9) fell behind 21-0 after the first half, but a 26-point second half for Lawrence Tech saw the lead cut to 12 as time expired. The Blue Devil had rattled off 13 points in the final 3:41 as Derrick Hinton hauled in a 10-yard touchdown catch from Tyler Kulka to make it a 38-20 game. Hunter Washington's ensuing onside kick was recovered by Lawrence Tech.
Kulka single-handedly took the Blue Devils down the field in the final 46 second starting with an 11-yard pass to Nick Spohn, on a first and 25 from the LTU 33-yard line, who then pitched it to Hinton for an additional 15 yards to the Taylor 41. Kulka followed that play with a 15-yard rush and a two-yard rush to the Trojans 26 and found James Cartwright for a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it 38-26.
Taylor opened the game with touchdowns on their first two drives of the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead with 4:37 left in the opening 15 minutes. The Blue Devils defense held off the Trojans on the next drive as Daniel Macks hurried Saltzgaber into an incomplete pass. The Trojans than responded with a two-play, 59-yard drive capped off by a six-yard touchdown run from Caden Hilliard.
The Blue Devils closed the first half with a pair of defensive stops and got the ball back with 17 seconds remaining, but the Trojans defense held off LTU with a forced fumble, ultimately recovered by Urbanick as the clock hit zeroes.
The Blue Devils opened the third quarter with their first touchdown of the game, a two-yard pass to Marquez Steele to make it a 21-6 game. The Blue Devils defense forced a three-and-out on the next Trojan drive, but a three-and-out by the offense saw Taylor get the ball back at the end of the third. On the second play in the fourth, the Trojans Stalzgaber hit Trey Burdine for a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it a 28-6 game.
Hinton caught a nine-yard touchdown pass on the next Blue Devils possession to cut the lead to 28-13, but once again Taylor was able to respond on the next drive to push their lead back to 18, 31-13. Justin Fath gave the Trojans a 38-13 lead before the Blue Devils mounted a comeback, cutting the lead to 38-20 with 50 seconds remaining.
Kulka finished with his second most passing yards of his career, going 32-for-46 for 298 yards and four touchdowns. Kulka also led the team in rushing with 59 yards on 10 carries while Hinton was the top receiver with 126 yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches. CJ Thompson added 86 yards on 10 catches. Defensively, the Blue Devils were led by Macks with 10 total tackles while Drake Berry added six solo tackles to finish with nine total. Ze'Veon McDonald finished the game with a blocked punt.
The Trojans were led by Zac Saltzgaber who went 6-for-17 for 82 yards and touchdown and rushed for 136 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Hilliard added 83 yards on 11 carries for one touchdown followed by Fath with 53 yards on eight carries for one touchdown.
The Blue Devils now enter the off-season after their first season in the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League. Next up is the 2020 Spring Game coming up in April of 2020 following the 2020 sighing day in early February.