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New Life Academy football: Turnovers and penalties plague Eagles again

New Life Academy junior Sean Jacobson and the Ealges fell 27-20 to Breck on Friday. (Submitted photo by Steve Rooker)

Deja vu hit the New Life Academy football team in week two of the season with a turnover-riddled 27-20 loss to the Breck Mustangs on Friday.

In addition to the turnovers, the Eagles again made a late rally attempt that came up short. Penalties also stymied the Eagles again in the Tri-Metro Conference loss.

“We were marching well several times, and then all of a sudden, we got first and 20,” Eagles coach Paul Mork said.

The Eagles comitted four fumbles, two interceptions and 55 yards in penalties in the loss to Breck (1-1; 1-1 TMC). Quarterback Seth Rice rallied the Eagles from 27-6 down, and his team came five yards shy of tying this time around, ending in an interception.

“It’s almost a repeat of the first week,” Mork said.

Against Minnehaha Academy in the previous week, the Eagles (0-2; 0-2 TMC) had four turnovers. Rice attempted to rally the Eagles with a fourth-quarter touchdown, but they fell short 16-13.

Friday’s contest against the Mustangs even had a similar start as the Eagles took a first-half lead. Following a key block by Eagles fullback Matt Etzweiler, running back Jake Brand put his team on the board in the first quarter with a 35-yard touchdown run. That 6-0 start turned out to be the Eagles’ only lead for the night.

Brand finished the game with 17 rushes for 114 yards. Etzweiler finished with 29 yards rushing and many blocks that helped the Eagles garner 342 yards in total offense.

“He’s the guy that’s leading those tailbacks all of the time,” Mork said of Etzweiler.

Mustangs quarterback Graydon Kulick connected with Jorge Salveson for a 91-yard touchdown, and they took the lead on the extra point, 7-6. Levi Selness then punched in a one-yard run for the Mustangs to go up 16-6 in the second quarter.

“The guy got a seam, and we missed a couple tackles,” Mork said about the 91-yard touchdown.

The Eagles fell further behind in the following quarters as Kulick scored on touchdown passes of 43 and 17 yards for a 27-6 Mustangs lead. Rice then rallied the Eagles in the fourth quarter.

He found Caleb Deiss for a 13-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 27-12. Rice connected with Deiss again for a 27-yard touchdown and pulled within seven on a two-point conversion pass to Ty Frazier.

The Eagles took possession again with around three minutes remaining, but they could not put the ball in the end zone. An interception by the Mustangs ended the drive at the five-yard line with under a minute to go. Though the Eagles fell for a second time in two games, they have outscored their opponents 21-6, but that has not translated into wins.

Eagles lineman Joel Robinette returned to the line after going down to injury in last week’s game. The Eagles also had a boost from their free safety Sean Jacobson coming back for the second half after an ankle sprain in the first half.

“Our trainer taped him up; he didn’t get beat,” Mork said of Jacobson.

The Eagles will need to beat Providence Academy (1-1, 1-1 TMC) on the road next Friday in order to get their first win of the season. The Lions fell short against Concordia Academy, 17-13, on Friday.

“We just need to take care of the ball and not hurt ourselves,” Mork said.

-Matthew Davis