Austin Wilson battled through an intense rivalry game this week, but came up just short despite a solid defensive effort. He finished 12 for 22, 207 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wilson was also sacked seven times. The Syracuse commit spoke to CuseNation.com about the close loss.
"We lost in our rivalry game 15-14," Wilson described. "We started off the game on a score from my first pass. Right down the middle, I had a 58 yard touchdown pass. So early in the game we were up 7-0. Our defense played pretty well. They did very well actually. Trinity, who we played, has one of the best running backs in the state. He had 900 yards in his last three games. We held him under 100. I think he had about 80-yards.
"After my touchdown, they drove down the field and scored. They got a two-point conversion so it was 8-7 them. Next drive down, we took it right down the field in the second quarter. We scored again to make it 14-8. The rest of the game it was just defense, defense, defense. We had a couple costly turnovers and fumbles. We didn't capitalize on turnovers we got from them. That eventually hurt us. They came down with about 4:50 left and punched it in. We had them at 4th and goal from the one, and they ended up jumping over the line and getting the last touchdown."
Losing a close game is difficult enough. But when it is to your biggest rival, and at home, it makes it even more difficult. Wilson says, he thinks his team is mentally strong enough to move on.
"It's definitely always a big game," he said. "For me it's a little bit different. I grew up playing in the Catholic league, midgets and pee-wees and all that little league stuff. I already know all the kids on that team growing up with them. So it's a tough one to lose to them.
"The team morale after the game, everyone was a bit frustrated. We felt we had the game won. But we know, just like everybody does, that you can't have those turnovers. I think it's going to be easy to get the team back up and ready for next week. I think everybody already realizes how close of a game it was, how good of a game it was. We know what it is we did wrong. We're going to capitalize on that this week."
As they look to prepare for their next game, Wilson says they already developing a game plan.
"We play Milton Hershey," he explained. "They're a 4-A school. It's also another division game. They have a lot of speed. We're going to try to open it up with the passing game like we always try. I think it should be a good success. It has been in the past. Our running back is still running the ball very well.
"If your defense keeps playing like they have been. Ever since week one, they've gotten progressively better. I think we have the best defense in our division. That's what it will come down to."
The East Pennsboro High product was unable to watch Syracuse's win over Pittsburgh on Friday, as he was playing at the same time. However, he heard about the win, and thinks it was a big one for the Orange.
"It's definitely a big, big thing," the two-star quarterback said. "No matter how they started off, they were all out of conference games. Then to open it up and come and beat Pitt in that close of a game, it really just showed the team can overcome adversity really well. Nassib showed that he's a leader keeping everybody up despite the 1-3 start. They can bounce back from anything."
"It was a great atmosphere," he recalled. "It was homecoming weekend. My brother, he broke his collar bone in the spring. So he lost his spot on the depth chart for this year. Overall, it was a great game against Northwestern to watch."