By SPENCER BROWN
URBANA — The Urbana Tigers dropped another home contest, 49-26 to Bloomington on Friday night.
Quarterback Alex Beckman was 23-of-43 passing for 297 yards and three touchdowns but had three turnovers and was sacked five times.
“You know we started slow again, which was disappointing because we tried to emphasize that this week,” Tigers coach Nathan Watson said after the loss.
Beckman was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage, leading to a Bloomington touchdown.
He returned the favor on the next drive with a 21-yard strike to Tanner Russell.
The rest of the half belonged to Bloomington. The Raiders scored 21 unanswered points, including a Beckman fumble returned for a touchdown.
The Tigers closed the gap with a Beckman touchdown pass to Jeff Trask Jr. with less than two minutes left in the half to make it 28-12. They would get no closer than that.
Both teams traded scores early in the third quarter before the Raiders returned a Beckman interception for a touchdown. Another Bloomington score early in the fourth put the game out of reach.
Despite the miscues, Watson is confident in his QB.
“He’s our sophomore, he’s our guy,” Watson said. “Three years ago we started a sophomore and stuck with him all the way through. I think he’s the future of Urbana football.”
The Tigers now have lost their first three games of the season.
“You just coach them up. That’s my job,” Watson said. “We’ll watch film, and I just gotta explain to them what they’re doing wrong and just gotta get better.”
TEAM CONF. OVERALL
Normal West 3 0 3 0
Bloomington 2 1 2 1
Champaign Central 2 1 2 1
Normal Community 2 1 2 1
Decatur MacArthur 1 1 2 1
Danville 1 1 1 2
Centennial 1 2 1 2
Decatur Eisenhower 0 3 0 3
Urbana 0 3 0 3
NEXT FRIDAY’S GAMES
Central at Bloomington
Normal Community at Centennial
Normal West at Danville
Urbana at Springfield Lanphier
NEXT SATURDAY’S GAME
Decatur MacArthur at Decatur Eisenhower