The Princeton football team has been on a roll. After an opening loss to Annandale, the Tigers reeled off three straight wins heading into their Nov. 6 contest against Foley.
Princeton was able to extend that winning streak to four after an 18-10 win over the Falcons on the road.
Despite picking up win after win, the streak has not featured many one-sided wins for the Tigers as three of the wins have been by a single possession.
The contest against Foley was no different. But once again, Princeton was able to execute just enough to win.
Opening the contest against Foley, both teams traded possession to no avail as the teams went into the second quarter scoreless. After putting together a lengthy drive, Princeton kicker Zach Marshall was able to put the Tigers on the board grabbing the 3-0 lead.
Princeton would recover the ball on the ensuing kickoff and the Tigers would once again string some plays together but saw the drive stall in Foley territory. Marshall would once again answer the call barely sneaking through a long field goal on the windy night to give Princeton a 6-0 lead going into the half.
Head Coach Ryan Fay was happy to be able to put points on the board with the offense failing to be able to sustain drives. “We were having trouble executing on offense but it is really nice when you can still rely on a field goal,” he said.
The second half saw more of the same and Princeton’s offense wasn’t able to get going while the Tigers’ defense remained stout.
The score remained the same until Princeton’s special teams once again made a play. The Falcons prepared to punt the ball away but it was blocked by a Princeton defender and recovered in the end zone for another Tigers’ score.
Princeton failed to convert on the PAT attempt and held onto the 12-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. That’s when Foley made a run.
The Tigers prepared to punt the ball away but had the football sail over punter Evan Schimming’s head. The ball was then knocked out of the back of Princeton’s end zone, leading to a safety for Foley, making it a 12-2 game.
After Princeton’s safety kick, Foley took full advantage of the opportunity and converted a long TD pass and after the successful two-point conversion, the Tigers were clinging to the 12-10 lead.
Then Princeton’s offense woke up. The Tigers were able to make play after play led by Kaden Olson finding some room to run against the Falcon’s defense.
Olson was able to get the Tigers some breathing room after his rushing score but the PAT was failed as Foley was still within striking distance. Olson finished with 112 yards on 14 carries.
Back with a chance to tie the game with time running out, Foley was driving into Tigers’ territory. That’s when senior Manny Flicek stepped up. Flicek was able to seal the game with his interception, moving Princeton’s winning streak to four in a row.
Fay was pleased by the win but knows the Tigers must improve with playoffs around the corner. “If we don’t execute, we are going to be in dog fights. It’s things we are doing to ourselves, but a win is a win,” he said.
Princeton now sits at 4-1 for the season while Foley dropped to 2-3.
Despite having won four in a row, the Tigers know they haven’t reached their peak yet. “We’ve played good enough to win, but we haven’t been playing at our best,” Fay said.
Up next for Princeton is a chance to demonstrate its best when the team takes on Little Falls. The Flyers will enter the game with a 1-3 record. As long as the Tigers can make plays against the Flyers, Fay thinks the team will be in good shape. “As long as we can execute we should be fine,” he said, emphasizing finishing drives for the Tiger’s offense as a focus. With section play right around the corner, Princeton has a chance to secure the No. 1 seed with a victory. The Tigers haven’t given that much thought, according to Fay. “We’ll let that take care of itself and let the rest happen as it happens,” he said.
Princeton and Little Falls squared off Nov. 12 at John Harvey Field. Kick-off was scheduled for 5 p.m.