Missouri Cyclones coach Troy Robertson knows one loss doesn’t mean the end of the road.
Actually, he believes Saturday’s 15-10 setback to the Midwest Chargers might be just what his team needed to steer itself back on track.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” asserted Robertson.
Robertson found his team in a similar position last season, losing a pivotal early-season contest before reeling off 11 straight victories to advance to the championship game.
But this season’s team hasn’t been quite as potent offensively, relying strongly on its defense to dictate the flow of the game.
“It’s tough to face a loss like this when we play so well on defense,” said Robertson, whose team forced six turnovers.
Saturday’s offensive effort was inconsistent, as the Cyclones struggled to sustain drives.
The running game was effective, but the passing game never developed.
Costly turnovers resulted in points on two different occasions.
“I think we ran the ball pretty well,” said Robertson. “They were stacking eight in the box, and they’ve got a pretty physical defense.”
Missouri amassed 92 yards on the ground, with Daryle Jones picking up 75 of those on 14 carries.
Missouri started off with three consecutive first down plays, before the drive was halted on an interception in the end zone.
The Chargers later capitalized off a fumble return, going ahead 8-0 with 3:31 remaining in the second quarter.
The Cyclones countered early in the third period, scoring on the ground, before taking the lead on a 48-field goal by Will Rodriguez with 5:01 left in the quarter.
The Cyclones’ defense continually rose to the challenge, recording seven tackles for loss and nabbing four interceptions. But it was Missouri’s own carelessness with the ball that cost.
“Our defense played lights out,” asserted Robertson. “We just had two costly turnovers.”
The Cyclones take on the Evansville Enforcers Saturday at Black Hawk Middle School in Warrenton at 4 p.m.