Senior staff writer
Lutheran’s ever-improving team came within 2 yards of keeping its winning streak alive Friday night against visiting Scecina.
Trailing 27-20, Lutheran launched a potential game-winning 48-yard drive to the Scecina 6-yard line. The 1A No. 11 Saints clicked on sophomore Andre Jones’ 11-yard run, three pass completions by quarterback Jake Reid and a 14-yard run by 280-pound running back Kyle Johnson.
Reid kept the drive alive with a fourth-and-12 pass completion of 14 yards to Jacob Fabio to the 30.
The comeback came to an end when 2A No. 12 Scecina defensive back Isaiah Bryant dove inside a Saints receiver for a drive-ending interception with 34 seconds left.
“We’re young and every game presents us with a new challenge and opportunity to learn and improve,” Saints coach Dave Pasch said. “We drove the field a couple of times but just didn’t have the ability to finish it. It always comes down to fundamentals and execution.”
The Saints (4-2, 2-3) came into the Indiana Crossroads Conference matchup with a three-game winning streak after losing their first two games. Scecina (4-2, 3-1) tested Lutheran throughout the first half.
The visiting Crusaders steadily built a 20-0 lead with 2:40 left in the first half. Scecina scored on a 44-yard pass play, a 1-yard run that capped a 69-yard drive and a 68-yard pass.
Lutheran retaliated quickly with a sparkling 64-yard scoring pass from Reid to Baily Barham with 17 seconds left remaining in the half.
“They did some things offensively that took us awhile to figure out,” Pasch said. “They got a couple of breaks early, and we forced some breaks that helped us in the second half.”
Trailing 20-14, the Saints recovered a Scecina fumble on the 25 that led to an 8-yard pass from Reid to Barham. The all-important PAT kick was off to the left.
Each half was a complete turnaround. Lutheran was held to 122 yards of offense in the first half but racked up 201 in the second half. Likewise, Lutheran’s defense held Scecina to only 48 yards on the ground and no completions in the second half.
Reid completed 12-of-21 passes for 168 yards and three TDs. Johnson rushed for 113 yards on 12 carries.