VICTOR — First-year Victor football coach Darren Gossett said his team is close to putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
Pirate fans could see that picture taking shape in Victor's second half Saturday on the Class C 8-man team's home field. Though the boys in blue and gold fell to Troy, 42-18, the Pirates outscored the Trojans 12-0 over the final two frames.
"I'm very excited for the future of this program and very excited for this year, too. If we play the way we did in the second half during the first half the outcome is probably different," coach Gossett said. "We're progressing and we're not getting frustrated.
"Yeah, we're 0-4 (overall), but that doesn't mean anything. I know what this team is like and a lot of people don't see it, but I see it. This team has a lot of character."
Victor showed it in the final 24 minutes. After both teams traded turnovers-on-downs, the Pirates' sophomore quarterback Carson Varner capped a steady drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge at the 8:03 mark of the third quarter.
Varner added another up-the-gut touchdown run late in the fourth quarter after a 14-play drive.
"He's a load and he's only getting better, too," Gossett said of Varner. "He's about as tough as nails and I'm excited for him too, and a lot of other young guys."
In the early going, though, it was Victor's seniors that kept the team in it. Troy's lead was 30-0 early in the second quarter when senior Skyler Webberson snagged a one-handed interception that set up the Pirates' first touchdown.
Webberson's pick wasn't a cheapie either, as the old school upperclassmen doesn't wear those sticky receiver gloves.
"I realized I was either going to get it or not, so I just sold out," Webberson said.
Three plays later senior Cameron Moore was scampering into the end zone for a long 20-plus yard touchdown run to cut into Troy's lead, 30-6.
"This team is really up-and-coming," Webberson said. "We have a bunch of young bloods and (the seniors) want to get them in and (guide them)."
The first-half deficit was too much for Victor, though. It got bigger one play after the Pirates' first score, too.
Troy's Kolton Lewis took the ensuing kick off to the house, erasing Victor's gains and giving the Trojans a 36-6 lead. Victor followed with a turnover-on-downs and the Trojans — and Lewis — found pay dirt again. This time, senior quarterback Terren Wineback connected with Lewis for a touchdown.
From there, Troy (1-3) had the clock on its side, as it ticked closer to a long-awaited win.
"This was our first win in 1,443 days. We've been keeping track of it. It's absolutely huge for our program," Troy's second-year coach Luke Haggerty said. "They've worked so hard and for them to finally feel what it's like to win is great. They deserve it."
Editor's note: Troy technically earned a win against Hot Springs by way of forfeit in 2017. Before Saturday, the Trojans' last win on the field came on Oct. 19, 2015 against Thompson Falls when both teams played in Class B.