Trojans drop regular season finale, fall to third place

Charlotte QB Mario Campos scrambles to get away from a Bruni defender in Charlotte’s 34-14 loss on Friday. GABRIEL ROMERO | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Charlotte Trojans couldn’t finish the season with a win, but their playoff season is about to begin.

On Friday, Charlotte was outmatched by the Bruni Badgers in a 34-14 loss in the regular season finale.

“We couldn’t execute on offensive. They’re a good team and we knew we weren’t gonna be able to come out flat, so we just got to execute on offense and we’ll be back stronger next week,” said defensive end Brandon Sanchez.

The Trojan defense held Bruni to eight points in the first half, but in the second half they gave up 26.

“We have some dogs on defense. We can only do so much,” Sanchez said.

He said the team needs to fix simple mistakes and penalties. The defense needs to work on finishing tackles, Sanchez said.

Charlotte wants to make it into the second round of the playoffs.

“We just have to take it one game at a time. We are a little banged up, but we will take care of that. I want to end my senior year with a bang,” Sanchez said.

Unofficially, Sanchez had five tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery.

“We are going to go to practice and use this last game to prepare for the playoffs. We can work our butts off and find a way to win and move to the second round,” said running back Max Rowland.

Unofficially, Rowland had 65 yards rushing and the team’s lone touchdown on the night. 

Quarterback Mario Campos had 78 yards passing and one touchdown pass.

“We’ve got to focus. During practice, we’ve got to get up and during games, we just got to drive,” Rowland said. 

For the senior class, it was their last game in front of their home crowd.

“If this really is my last game here, playing in my hometown, it means a lot to me to play here. I don’t want that to be my last game. I want to keep going forward because I’m gonna miss playing for this school,” Rowland said.

Head Coach Shawn Vowell said the team was battling injuries. It was mostly bumps and bruises for playing for the past three months, he added.

“I think we underachieved. I had a couple of my better players get injured. They were a step slow and against the Bruni team that’s that fast,” Vowell said. “I need everybody at 100 miles an hour. When you have a couple kids that are at 80 miles an hour trying to chase somebody that goes 100 miles an hour, We’re just a little bit out manned.”.

Vowell said the team performed better than last week and the team was a family again.

“I can’t question the performance of my kids. They were fighting to the end. I love them dearly. I feel bad for the seniors and their last home game, but that can all be erased with a win next week,” Vowell said.

As of Friday night, Charlotte will be the three seed in District 15-2A DII and will face Yorktown next week at a time and date to be determined.

“They kind of do what Bruni does, they come right at you, punch in the mouth and run, run, run. I’m gonna see them on film tomorrow and get rid of this game tonight. I wish it could have been a little bit better, but we’ll regroup and try to figure out a plan,” Vowell said.

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