ROY On Friday night, the Syracuse Titans had nothing to lose literally.
With 2007 being more like their initiation year instead of their inaugural year and with an 0-10 season haunting them, there was nowhere to go but up.
Syracuse beat Roy 31-6 on the the Royals' home turf. Ironically, the very first loss the Titans ever suffered was opening day of last season to Roy.
How a year can change things.
Syracuse's T.J. Blickfeldt rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns and also contributed a 64-yard score on a blocked kick. Quarterback Braden Hamblin also scored for the Titans.
The Titans played like a finely tuned championship team. There was no sign of being down on themselves or dwelling on last year. They scored first and scored often.
At halftime, the score was 20-0 in favor of the Titans. Nobody could have guessed the final score before the game started. The Titans had a shutout going until just 7 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.
The entire game was nearly free of penalties and the Titans' offense, defense and special teams all played nearly flawlessly.
"The whole group of kids put in a lot of time and a lot of hard work. All the coaching staff is really proud of them," Syracuse coach Russ Jones said.
"It's good to be on the winning side. There's nothing like winning. I was hoping for something like this."
Jones dedicated the win to Syracuse principal Craig Hansen.
"Our principal had surgery about a week ago and is home healing and
was unable to make the game. This win is for him. We're going to sign a game ball and give it to him," Jones said.
The team, the school, and the community of Syracuse needed this win.