Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 41
 
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
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NO ESCAPE: Princeton High senior running back Trevor Barsamian eludes a tackler in action this season. Last Saturday, Barsamian rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown but it wasn’t enough as PHS fell 14-7 at Steinert. The loss was the first of the season for the Little Tigers, who had rallied for wins in their first four games. PHS will look to get back on the winning track when they host Hopewell Valley on October 17 for Homecoming.

Unable to Pull Off 5th Straight Rally, PHS Football Falls 14-7 at Steinert

Bill Alden

In the first four games of the 2009 season, the Princeton High football team had proven to be the comeback kids.

Falling behind early in every game and trailing at halftime in three of the contests, the Little Tigers had rallied each time to get off to a 4-0 start, the program’s best record at that stage since 1991.

Last Saturday, PHS dug another early hole as it played at Steinert and fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter. The Little Tigers nearly scored before that half but Trevor Barsamian was stopped short of the goal-line on the last play of the second quarter.

With its penchant for dramatic rallies, PHS wasn’t fazed by the 14-point deficit at intermission intermission. “There was no panic at half,” said Little Tiger head coach Steve Everette.

“We blew an opportunity right before half; we ran out out of timeouts. We were three yards away and I thought going with Trevor was a smart play. Their linebacker made a good play.”

After neither team scored in the third quarter, PHS got in rally mode down the stretch. The Little Tigers put together a 16-play drive which culminated with a two-yard touchdown run by Barsamian with 7:11 left in regulation.

PHS, though, couldn’t produce another fantastic finish this time as the Spartans made a late interception to hold on for a 14-7 victory.

Everette acknowledged that making a fifth straight comeback was a tall order.

“I thought in the second half we did a great job of moving the ball,” said Everette, who got 57 yard rushing on 13 carries from Barsamian with Josh Gordon chipping in 53 yards on 20 attempts.

“We just ran out of time. You can’t always be down 14-0 and expect to win. We’ve done it four times this season and we couldn’t do it the fifth. Hats off to them, they played a good game and they were fired up. They played some good defense.”

A critical factor in the loss was some sloppy ballhandling by the normally sure-handed Little Tigers, who committed four turnovers with two interceptions and two lost fumbles compared to one miscue by Steinert.

“Turnovers always hurt you,” said Everette. “On a blustery day like today you put yourself in a bad field position and you can’t do the things that you want to do. We lost the turnover battle for the first time and we lost the game.”

While disappointed by the setback, Everette believes his team is ready for the battles ahead, starting with a home game against Hopewell Valley on October 17.

“We are still 4-1; that is not as good as 5-0 but we still pretty much control our destiny,” said Everette.

“We need to go out and win Homecoming against HoVal and then have a shot at Hightstown with a chance to tie for the division title.”

If the Little Tigers are to be title contenders, though, they need to get out of the gate quicker.

“We are starting games sluggishly and I have got to figure out a way to get us started faster,” said Everette.

“It is rough playing from behind every week; it is going to catch up with you.”

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