A Monroe football player sat on the back of the golf cart, his shoulders slouched and head hung low as he was taken back to the locker room.
It’s a scene that has been repeated far too many times this season.
Friday was another tough loss for the shorthanded Trojans as they fell 40-0 to Ann Arbor Huron.
This wasn’t what Dave Mifsud anticipated when he took the job in January.
Photo Gallery: Ann Arbor Huron at Monroe Football
Back then he saw a bunch of talented athletes who just needed to be coached up.
Mifsud never got a chance to coach some of them. Monroe has been beset by injuries from the start.
But Mifsud isn’t complaining.
“We’ll just keep our blue-collar attitude and work with the guys we have,” he said.
Mifsud wasn’t ranting and raving after a second consecutive 40-0 loss dropped his team to 2-3. His post-game words to the team were more fatherly than fiery. After the group broke up, he spent a long while with his arms on the shoulder pads of a player patiently explaining what could be done better.
“It’s frustrating, but I liked our attitude a lot better than last week,” Mifsud said, referring to a loss in Week 4 to state-ranked Saline. “We improved mentally. … We played harder. We competed until the end.”
It was just a matter of players being forced into roles they were not expected to play because of injuries.
“We’re inexperienced and playing very talented teams,” Mifsud said. “We’ll get better.”
The Trojans trailed just 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
They stopped Huron on its first two drives, allowing a total of just 10 yards.
The River Rats hit a 29-yard pass play on their third possession and that spurred a 70-yard touchdown drive.
That gave Huron confidence and it scored two touchdowns and a field goal the next three times its offense took the field.
Monroe meanwhile, didn’t manage its first first down until the closing minutes of the first half.
It was 24-0 at haltime.
The River Rats added another TD on its first possession of the second half, then University of Michigan-bound kicker Adam Samaha booted his second, third, and fourth field goals of the night.
One of his boots was a 49-yarder that cleared the crossbar with plenty to spare.
Roman Beck and Tanner Collett led the Monroe defense with 7 tackles each and Makhi Hyden recovered a fumble to lead the defense.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Trojans.
They travel to Bedford Friday to take on their arch-rivals, then return home to face state-ranked Dexter the following week for homecoming.
“We’d like to have a little more momentum,” Mifsud said.
H – Donel Green 7 run (Adam Samaha kick)
H – Green 12 run (Samaha kick)
H – Samaha 20 field goal
H – Andrew Hardling 8 run (Samaha kick)
H – Green 1 run (Samaha kick)
H – Samaha 13 field goal
H – Samaha 49 field goal
H – Samaha 41 field goal
Rushing: Donel Green, H, 14-65; Andrew Harding, H, 7-64; Davis Hugan, H, 3-31; Logan Loveland, M, 12-37;
Passing: Andrew Harding, H, 13-27-196; Ryan Sieler, M, 7-17-76.
Receiving: Ledanian Woods, H, 6-80; Jamari Thomas, H, 2-61; Davis Hugan, H, 4-49; Owen Yount, M, 3-30; Aidan Brodie, M, 2-22; Drew Leach, M, 1-16; Drew Scznsny, M, 1-8; Jamil Thomas, H, 1-6.
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Banged-up Monroe suffers second straight 40-0 loss, but stays positive