Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Taggart almost ends nation's longest losing streak

For Willie Taggart these are the times that test a man’s soul.

The Manatee High legend has known a lot of success, but he couldn’t have been feeling more disappointed than last weekend.

In his first year as head coach at Western Kentucky, Taggart inherited a program that had the longest losing streak in the country at 20 games.

It almost ended last Saturday at 25 when his Hilltoppers led 24-7 in the fourth quarter against Louisiana-Monroe. But then everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong.

ULM scored four touchdowns in the final period to secure a 35-30 victory. A 55-yard interception for a touchdown that pushed its leads to 35-24 was the dagger that sunk into WKU’s heart.

Ironically it was the only turnover for a WKU team that has had ball security problems all season, but it was enough to dash the hopes of Taggart, who wanted to get the victory in front of the WKU home fans.

"We just didn't finish. We were in uncharted waters, but just didn't close the deal," Taggart said after the game. "It's all part of the growing pains we are going through. We made some bad mistakes, but we are going to keep fighting. I told the guys that when you are up, you can't get too high, and you can't get too low when you down.

“We had a game that we were up in, and we didn't handle it well at all. That's part of a growing process for a football team that hasn't won in a while.

The Hilltoppers were able to put together one last drive, going 62 yards in just three plays before Braden River graduate Willie McNeal caught a 13 yard touchdown pass to cut WKU’s deficit to five points. A two-point conversion attempt failed. Then ULM recovered an onsides kick and ran out the clock

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