Girard aims for 3-0 start against CNC rival Columbus

The Trojans ruined the Titans perfect season last October in the first round of the playoffs.

GIRARD, Kan. – The last time Girard and Columbus were on the field together, the Trojans knocked the undefeated Titans out of the playoffs in the first round – after Columbus had previously beaten Girard in the regular season.

“Going into it…I’m sure we’re circled on the calendar for them knowing that we knocked them off last year in the playoffs,” says Girard head coach Neal Philpot, “I’m sure they’re eager to play us, but we have to understand that last year’s game has no bearing on what this year is and we have to go take care of business.”

Girard is on a roll to start the season – blowing out both Colgan and Baxter Springs in their first two games.

“We got a chance to get a lot of people in. I think we took the opportunity last week to see how we can get better from week one to week two,” Philpot adds, “There’s some things that we did, but there are still some things that we need to get improved. We’re excited to get back to work and get those things fixed this week.”

Girard’s defense has been impressive, allowing just 7 total points through two games.

“I think technique has been the biggest thing for us,” says QB/DB Luke Niggemann, “We’re a little smaller up front. Technique is a big thing for us right now.”

“We’ve got a good group there. We’ve kept a lot of the stuff we had a year ago, so the guys are familiar with it,” Philpot says of his defense, “We’ve got some athletes who can fly around a little bit. The guys have been doing a good job of getting to the ball and tackling. They’re being unselfish in what they do, making the plays they’re supposed to make and letting their teammates make the plays they they’re supposed to make.”

While Girard knows they can get the job done Friday – they know it’s an important game for Columbus and the Titans will be ready to play.

“They’re a good team. They have a lot of guys back from a year ago,” Philpot says of Columbus, “They do things very, very soundly. They know their identity on both sides of the ball. Like us, they know what they’re doing. Defensively, they know what their responsibilities are. They go play hard and they go play fast. It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

Columbus is 1-1 on the season, falling to Frontenac in their season opener before beating Field Kindley in week two.

Friday’s game kicks off at 7 PM in Girard.