By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion football team suffered a 28-14 loss to Breese Mater Dei. Adam Lutz finished with the two lone touchdowns for the Braves and 189 rushing yards.
The Knights scored early in the first quarter. The Knights offense matched up the field and Jayce Napovanice ran for a six-yard touchdown to give the Knights a 7-0 lead.
The Braves’ offense got the ball back and failed to score on their opening drive. The Braves’ defense held their own as they pressured Knights’ quarterback Bryce Revermanm and contained the Knights’ running game for three straight drives. Braves’ defensive back Chase Fink intercepted a pass during a drive to give the Braves’ offense a possession.
The Braves’ failed to score in the first half resulting in a 7-0 first-half lead for the Knights.
The Braves in the third quarter received the ball and ran the football. The Braves’ used their running backs Zac Girard and Lutz to move the football and converted on third and fourth down opportunities. The Braves ran nearly 11 minutes off the third quarter and punched in their opportunity with Lutz running the ball in for a one-yard touchdown.
The Braves’ defense forced the Knights to a punt to end the third quarter. The Knights countered to make the Braves punt and Napovanice ran the punt back 64 yards to make the score 14-7.
The Knights scored twice more on a Cameron Haag 38-yard touchdown run and a Haag interception turned into a touchdown to give the Knights a 28-7 lead.
The Braves ended the game with Lutz running in a 79-yard rushing touchdown to narrow the lead to 28-14.
“I told my kids there’s times we played really well and times I thought we did some really good things and we gave away some big plays,” Head coach Patrick Etherton said. “I thought our kids played well and again as we had to figure out how to do some things, but it was good
And it’s never good to lose, but it was good to see us do some different things and with some guys out. We’re in the playoffs, we know that and now let’s just figure out who we play and move on.”
The Braves finished the regular season 6-3. The Braves will face Paris at home in the first round of IHSA 4A Playoffs. Paris lost their first two games and their last game, but did pick up a win against Richland County, who is a playoff team in 4A. Kickoff will be on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“We will probably play somebody that we haven’t seen before and that’s new which is similar to Mater Dei,” Coach Etherton said. We’ve never played Mater Dei before and so it was good to see that experience. I think they’re a heck of a football team. I think they’re really good and they have a couple players who can flat out scoot. I have a hard time believing there’s better teams in 2A out there. I told our kids usually they’re a 4A team and we got a taste of a playoff caliber team in week nine.”