Bad breaks, poor execution lead to Irish boys’ loss


Maple Lake’s football team may have survived Friday the 13th with a win, but in Friday’s game it looked like bad luck had just been delayed a game, as the team fell 14-7 to conference foe Rockford on the road.
“We won the coin toss and were set to defer to the second half. We thought we’d kick off and hold them with the wind (at our backs),” coach Tim Knudsen said. “But, they scored right away.”
A 35-yard trick play led to a 35-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead for the Rockets.
So, Maple Lake did their best to bounce back with a long drive to their opponents’ 25-yard line.
“We got tackled for a five-yard loss,” Knudsen said. “We weren’t in field-goal range from the 30 with the wind blowing the way it was.”
The Rockets forced a turnover on downs and ultimately took a 7-point lead into the locker room, despite running 13 fewer plays than the Irish.
In the second half, the visitors went three-and-out on their first possession.
Things started to look up on their next possession, however, when they scored on an 11-yard run by Cal Redemske and a Charlie Stejskal extra-point kick to close within 7 points with nine minutes remaining.
Now it was time for the Rockets to kill the clock and that’s what they did, even though they didn’t score. The Irish found themselves on their own 20-yard line with three minutes left and had to punt a minute later.
“We used up our timeouts and got the ball back with :58 left,” Knudsen said. “But time expired on us after six downs.”
Knudsen said many factors contributed to the loss.
“We missed a lot of blocking assignments,” he said. “We didn’t catch the ball at times and had some under-throws when people were open. 
And that was just the offensive side of the ball.
“We didn’t line up right at times defensively,” Knudsen continued. “We had a lot of mental errors we need to correct. We’re very inexperienced and we had some guys get hurt.”
More information and stats appear in this week's Messenger.