Some nights, nothing seems to go right.
From the first possession Friday, the Immaculata football team simply could not find a foot to stand on during its district playoff opener versus Valley Falls.
While the Raiders’ struggles mounted, the visiting Dragons held nothing back and defeated Imac 44-8.
“The mistakes just kept growing and growing and growing and snowballed on us like crazy,” Imac coach Sean Sachen said.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the visitors needed just two minutes to find the end zone thanks to a 30-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was good.
Following that, Immaculata’s first offensive play turned into a fumbled hand-off, which gave the ball right back to Falls. Eight plays later, the Dragons scored again on a six-yard TD pass.
Thus, with 4:12 left in the first quarter, Imac trailed 16-0.
“The fumble on the first play from scrimmage kind of says it all,” Sachen said. “We just couldn’t stop them offensively. They kept running the ball up the middle on us. They are a good team.”
Ignoring the poor start, the home team fought back. On its second drive, Connor Schmidling hit Cory Holcomb for a 42-yard TD pass. The successful two-point attempt brought the score to 16-8.
But from there, everything unraveled. Right before the end of the first quarter, Falls tacked on a 49-yard TD run to take a 20-8 advantage.
The start of the second period saw the two teams trade turnovers. In fact, six straight possessions ended in either a fumble, interception or turnover on downs. Falls got the last laugh, running an interception down to Imac’s one-yard line with 1:07 left until half.
The corresponding one-yard TD run put the Dragons up 30-8.
“That deflated us, but all the mistakes were key,” the Immaculata coach said. “We lost two starters to injury and we were already missing some others, so with our depth, that hurts a lot. We had to move even more people around and of those, Cory Holcomb played really well. But overall, it’s hard to deal with.”
The beginning of the third quarter saw things go from bad to worse. Three Raider turnovers nullified any offensive progress the team made and Falls capitalized on the errors for 14 more points. With the score resting at 44-8, a running-clock brought a quick end to Immaculata’s fourth-straight loss.
Unofficially, the Raiders had eight turnovers. Schmidling threw for 97 yards and a touchdown while Holcomb racked up 64 yards receiving plus his TD catch. Drew Sachen led the team in rushing with 72 yards.
“I think we let down a little bit effort wise after that first half,” Sachen said. “But it’s easy to look at the score and shut down, so for them to keep battling in the second half was good to see.”
Page 2 of 2 - Imac, 2-5, will host Troy next week at 7 p.m.