PDT Sports Contributor
PORTSMOUTH—The Notre Dame Titans fell just short of victory in their season opener versus the Racine Southern Tornadoes at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, losing 21-18.
Notre Dame could not get its offense going through a majority of the first three quarters—trailing 21-3 at one point—but scored 15 unanswered points via two rushing touchdowns and a successful two-point conversion by junior RB Sam Kayser late in the second half to cut the deficit to three.
In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Titans drove down the field and found themselves just a yard away from the endzone on fourth and goal with less than ten seconds left in the game.
Notre Dame originally lined up to attempt a field goal to send the game into overtime, but after a Racine Southern timeout the Titans elected to go for victory. Senior RB Michael Collins was stopped short of the goal line, turning the ball over to Racine Southern with just 4.6 seconds to play. The Tornadoes ran one play to end the game.
The Tornadoes scored in the first quarter on an 8-yd passing touchdown and never relinquished the lead. The Tornadoes connected on two other passing touchdowns on the night.
The Titans got on the board in the second quarter with a 31-yard field goal by sophomore QB/K Drew Cassidy but did not score again until the end of the third quarter.
Kayser had 161 rushing yards on 20 carries, including a 31-yard scamper for a touchdown, and 14 receiving yards. Collins finished with 12 carries for 64 yards.
Cassidy completed three of eight passes for 34 yards.