East Central Trojans dug themselves a hole and never could climb out in a 28-12 loss to the Cincinnati La Salle Lancers Friday night in Monfort Heights, Ohio.

The Lancers, one of the top teams in Cincinnati and fighting for a berth in the Ohio playoffs, scored on its first two possessions. The Lancers’ defense then bent but didn’t break the rest of the game until the last minute of the game.

East Central (7-2) now gets ready to play conference rival Franklin County in the first round of the Class 4A Sectional 15 tournament Friday night in Brookville. The Trojans beat Franklin County 35-15 on Sept. 9 at Brookville.

Last Friday, the Lancers moved down the field on its first possession with little trouble. Running back Bully Burger ran around left end from 11 yards out for a score after LaSalle used up 4:39 and 12 plays. The big play was a 22-yard pass form quarterback Taylor Sheehan to Michael Reed on a fourth and 10 at the East Central 36-yard line. Sheehan, rated one of the best QBs in the city and already committed to attend Bowling Green on a scholarship, missed time earlier in the year after breaking a collarbone in the first game of the season.

After East Central went three plays and punted, LaSalle used only five plays to score with Reed ran two yards for q score. With 3:40 left in the first quarter.

“The key to the game was getting acclimated to their size and speed,” said East Central coach Don Stonefield. “The first quarter was critical. Once we got settled down, we played them even.”

East Central started with the ball in the second quarter, and put together a long, time-consuming drive that looked like it was going nowhere. After a penalty, Trojan quarterback Toby Deters hit wide receiver Byron Hartman with a 38-yard pass to move to midfield.

But the drive eventually stalled at the seven-yard line where Alex Wilhelm kicked a 24-yard field goal.

The Trojans put together another long drive to start the third quarter, but again settled for a 31-yard field goal from Wilhelm.

The Trojans held the Lancers, but Deters was sacked, and then, under heady pressure, tried to pass. Lancer defensive lineman Vince Harris intercepted and Deters made a touchdown-saving tackle at the five-yard line. Reed scored two plays later to put La Salle up 21-6.

East Central methodically moved down the field after the kickoff, using 16 plays and 9:04, but couldn’t score when Deters was sacked on a fourth and 12 from the 16-yard line.

La Salle scored six plays later when Reed scored his second TD from 10 yards.

Deters and Hartman teamed up for a touchdown pass with 17 second left for the Trojans final score.

“We didn’t panic,” Stonefield said. “We wanted to get going first, but we kept moving and playing smash-mouth EC football.”

Deters was 10 of 20 for 135 yards with Hartman catching eight for 116 yards. Running back Lance Mullins ran 12 times for 40 yards and Drew Knigga ran 12 times for 46 yards.

For the Lancers, Sheehan was 9 of 14 for 135 yards, with Reed catching five pass for 96 yards. Green ran 13 times for 76 yards.

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