But the ‘Horns fought back, putting together their best drive of the game culminating in a one-yard rumble into the endzone by Jacob Wigington.
Savoy answered on the ensuing drive with a 36-yard run to pay dirt with 4:36 left to play.
The death knell came when the ‘Horns capped off another promising drive deep into Cardinal territory with an interception in the end zone, allowing Savoy to run out the clock and secure the win.
Poor weather conditions clearly hampered the ‘Horns in their season finale, particularly in their usually-potent passing attack, but Kostiha said they would not use it as an excuse.
“We throw the ball so much that it obviously slowed us down,” he said. “But (Savoy) played in the same weather.
“It’s not an excuse or a crutch. We just didn’t overcome it as well as they did.”
Ultimately, Kostiha said his team’s ability to overcome its youth and slow start to get to the second round of the playoffs made for a memorable first season as Gordon’s head coach.
“It was a great season,” Kostiha said. “We had a lot of fun. It was a great senior class. I just wish we wouldn’t have had it end like this.”
With such a young team, including only eight departing seniors including Jacob Wigington and Brandon Gonzales – the only two ‘Horns to have played a single varsity snap before this season – hopes are high in Gordon for next season. Kostiha said he has big plans for this offseason.
“We’ve got a lot of kids coming back; a lot of freshmen, sophomores and juniors that started and played a ton,” he said. “I’ve always tried to win in the offseason.
“I think that we’re going to improve. Our kids have improved their bodies already. I’m excited to have another year to be able to build up their bodies and see where we can go from there. “