We came out throwing the ball and it worked out. We have some good athletes out there that that know what they're doing, they run hard and fast and I just try to get them the ball in good spots. —Kole Tracy
After spotting Highland a 14-7 halftime advantage, Syracuse came roaring back to score 17 second-half points as the Titans won 24-21 on a late field goal from Romney Harker to improve to 2-0
Kole Tracy came alive in the second half, matching his first week three-touchdown passes with another three touchdowns against Highland.
"We came out throwing the ball and it worked out," Tracy said. "We have some good athletes out there that know what they're doing, they run hard and fast and I just try to get them the ball in good spots."
Tracy struck early with a 46-yard scoring strike to Tyler Bills that gave the Titans a 7-0 lead.
The Rams countered with several big plays of their own.
Highland quarterback John Hunter found receiver Alassane Niang on a 54-yard scoring play that tied the game 7-7.
Hunter, a senior, took to the airwaves late in the second quarter and found tight end Brandon Jones at the Highland 10. Jones plucked the ball out of the air, over a Titans defender, and then rumbled in for the score that game Highland the 14-7 halftime advantage.
While Highland mustered several good drives to start the third quarter, a hard-hitting Syracuse team forced two fumbles from what had been an error-free Highland offense.
Those two turnovers proved to be deadly.
The first miscue resulted in a 48-yard touchdown pass from Tracy to Daunte Atkinson.
The second resulted in another 48-yard pass from Tracy to Atkinson and gave Syracuse its first lead since early in the game.
"You gotta thank Brandon Goncalves on that second fumble, he forced it and I was just there to pick it up," Jacob Winger, who recovered the second fumble, said.
Undaunted by the errors and the sudden scoring binge from Syracuse, Highland answered three plays later with a 66-yard run from Thomas Pembroke that tied it at 21 with 8:44 remaining.
And that's when Tracy went to work.Comment on this story
The senior signal caller went 5-5 on the final drive, driving his Titans team to the Highland 5 before Harker put it away with the 23-yard field goal.
"I thought Kole was a whole different kid in the second half," Russ Jones, Syracuse coach, said. "He's the type of kid that has a lot of energy and he needs to come out and bang and hit people and get tackled and thrown to the ground and then he's ready to play."
While Jones was happy with the win, he says the team is still searching for its identity.
"Still trying to figure out what our kids are all about," Jones said. "The biggest thing is they all have to know their jobs."