After beginning the year 2-0, the Charleston Trojans have not been in the win column since, and that includes both Apollo conference games up to date.
The Trojans hosted first place Mt. Zion on Friday night at Trojan Hill on homecoming night.
Mt. Zion scored on their first possession of the game on a 58 yard touchdown pass from Brandon Price to Charles Kuhle. The extra point was good and Mt. Zion led 7-0 early on.
Charleston was driving on their second possession before turning the ball over on downs in Mt. Zion territory on a 4th and 1 that the Trojans did not convert.
Mt. Zion scored on their next possession on a 32 yard run from Chappel to lead 14-0.
The Charleston offense could not find anything on their next drive and was forced to punt, but the defense stepped up and stopped the Braves on the final possession of the first quarter.
Another Charleston punt gave Mt. Zion the ball back. It did not look like Mt. Zion would have the ball for long as Kuhle took the punt back for a touchdown, but the return was called back because of a personal foul on a hit that knocked Ricky Newby out of the game.
Charleston stopped the Braves on their next possession and still trailed just 14-0 in the second.
Charleston got the defense stop, then fumbled it away on the next play to give it back to Mt. Zion.
The Trojan defense held strong again, forcing yet another Mt. Zion punt in the second quarter.
A big return from Dawson Armstrong set Charleston up in good field position, at the Mt. Zion 14 yard line. But a couple plays later, the best scoring opportunity for Charleston in the game, was halted from a Seth Higgins fumble inside the 10 late in the first half.
Just a minute later, another pass from Price to Kuhle resulted in a Mt. Zion touchdown, this time from 60 yards out. Mt. Zion scored again late in the first half and led 28-0 at halftime in Charleston.
A 10 yard touchdown pass from Price to Chappel in the third quarter, then a Chappel 48 yard run in the fourth summed up the scoring for Mt. Zion in the game.
The Braves put up 40 while blanking Charleston on the Trojan homecoming, 40-0. Charleston turned the ball over eight total times, including six fumbles and 2 interceptions.
With the loss, Charleston drops to 2-4 on the season and have lost four straight, and now 0-3 in Apollo Conference play. The Trojans will try to pick up their first conference win next week at second place Taylorville (5-1).
With the win, Mt. Zion gains full control of first place in Apollo Conference play and is the only team without a conference loss. The Braves improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Conference. Mt. Zion will host last place Salem (1-5) at home next week.