Senior staff writer
Lutheran football coach Dave Pasch could not fault his team’s effort Friday night against Indiana Crossroads Conference rival Scecina.
Pasch could look back and see plays that the Saints weren’t able to make the way they wanted against the visiting and victorious 2A No. 2 Crusaders.
“We had some weapons that presented them with some issues,” Pasch said. “Our game plan was to put us in position to make (big) plays, and I thought we did that.”
Lutheran, No. 4 in Class A, had its opportunities to upset the Crusaders, who won 26-15.
The Saints led 15-14 at halftime on Andre Jones’ 61-yard touchdown romp on the game’s third play and a 12-yard scoring pass from Jones to Dante Atkins with 36 seconds left. The second TD was set up by a 41-yard pass from Jones to Baily Barham.
The game turned on the first play of the fourth quarter. On fourth and 11 at midfield, the Saints went for the first down but the Crusaders’ defense recovered a fumble on the 45-yard line. Four plays later, Scecina running back Andrew Lowery ran 33 yards for a TD and a 26-15 lead.
The Saints kept driving but a Scecina interception ended a drive that reached the 25, the play that Pasch described as the real turning point.
“Our offense only had one turnover until then,” Pasch said. “That interception in the red zone was critical. The ball was tipped around on the 20. We could have taken the lead back with seven minutes left.
Lutheran’s Immanuel Knox picked a fumble after a completed pass with six minutes to go. However, Lowery knocked down two passes, and Jones was sacked to end any winning threat.
“We did some things that were uncharacteristic of our team,” Pasch said. “There was no question about our effort. We knew they were a very good football team, well coached, tremendous balance, and they would be physical and play hard.”
Jones racked up 210 yards of offense with 117 yards passing and 94 yards rushing. Scecina quarterback Mac Ayers was 17-of-29 for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
Scecina (5-1, 4-0) stays atop the ICC; Lutheran stands 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the conference.