St. Maries kept up with a dynamic visiting team from New Plymouth Nov. 1 in a 2A first round playoff game.
Until it could not.
Midway through the third quarter, and having erased two deficits already, the Lumberjacks fell into a 15-20 hole that would prove the third, and fatal, to their hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals.
“Credit to New Plymouth. They made more plays than we did, and had some kids that could really make things happen,” Coach Craig Tefft said. “Dropped passes hurt us bad, especially in that first half. We must have left 100 yards or more out there on dropped passes alone.”
The Jacks were outgained in total yardage 220-349 in the 15-33 defeat. St. Maries earned 190 of its yards rushing.
Coleman Ross capitalized on a first-quarter drive to tie the game at seven points apiece with a six-yard rushing touchdown that sent the two teams to a halftime deadlock.
The Pilgrims took a lead in the third frame before Eli Gibson finished off a drive with a one-yard trip to the end zone that would put St. Maries ahead 15-14, its only lead of the contest.
From there, New Plymouth put up 19 unanswered points to end the game with a three-score lead.
“Our kids played hard, but that’s football,” Coach Tefft added. “We did a good job of running the ball, but sometimes you need to be a little more versatile offensively, and we needed that in this game.”
The Lumberjacks were led in rushing by Luie Rice, who racked up 96 yards on eight carries. Cade Truscott had 33 yards on six carries and Eli 31 yards on 10 tries.
Cade recorded 10 tackles, and one for loss, for the Lumberjack defense. Brayden Brusseau added 10 tackles, Tristan Nelson six and Derek Larson three, including one for loss and a sack.
St. Maries finishes with a 5-4 record.