EDWARDSVILLE – Little things can mean a lot when it comes to football.
Little things like big plays, turnovers, mistakes; they can all add up over the course of a game or season.
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Plays like those hurt Metro East Lutheran-Madison in their season-opening contest against Bunker Hill at MEL's football field Friday night.
The Knights gave up two big plays on Bunker Hill's first two plays from scrimmage and turned the ball over in the second quarter in a play that ended up being a touchdown for the Minutemen.
Those plays really hurt the Knights, MEL-Madison coach Matt Tschudy said following the Knights' 30-14 loss to the Minutemen Friday night.
“Their first two offensive plays, they scored touchdowns,” Tschudy said. “You take those away and near the end of the first half, that turnover inside the 15-yard line and they scored. You take away those three scores, you have a tight ball game. There's positives and there's negatives; we had typical Week 1 mistakes. Hopefully, we can get those fixed.
“Last year, at this time, we hadn't put any points on the board; we were in it pretty much the whole time, it wasn't a blowout game or anything like that. Our team was pretty optimistic the whole time.”
Following the Minutemen's two quick touchdowns, Bunker Hill coach Tom Haynes thought his team got a bit complacent. “We got up early and I think we got complacent with ourselves; we didn't dig in and finish like we do,” Haynes aid. “Common Week 1 mistakes; it's stuff we've seen every year and we'll go back to the drawing board Monday and get those fixed, but overall, I'm very proud of my kids tonight.”
The Minutemen got off to a big start on the first play from scrimmage when Damin Jones took a handoff from quarterback Storm Coffman, found a hole and was off to the races with a 64-yard touchdown run to give Bunker Hill a 6-0 lead just 18 seconds into the season. After a MEL punt seemingly pinned the Minutemen deep in their own end, Coffman found Chase Williams with a pass and Williams finished a 95-yard play to put the Minutemen up 14-0 after the two-point convert was good.
In the second quarter, the Knights put together a drive that ended when Darion Brooks passed off to Earl Green, who got past a couple of Minutemen defenders to get into the end zone to cut the lead to 14-6 with 5:11 left in the second.
Bunker Hill answered with a 11-yard touchdown strike from Coffman to Williams with 6.6 seconds left in the half to send the teams into halftime with B-Hill holding a 22-6 lead. Steven Lebro extended it to 30-6 with 8:45 left in the third from a 5-yard TD run.
The Knights kept coming and finally found the end zone again with 3:11 left in the final term after Brooks hit J.V. Wilson on a 70-yard touchdowns strike, then the two found each other again on the two-point convert attempt for a final 30-14 score in favor of B-Hill.
The Knights will host Lighthouse Christian Academy of Springfield, Mo., at 7 p.m. Friday; Lighthouse replaced Barat Academy of St. Louis, who dropped its varsity football program after a low number of players expressed interest in the program for the season.
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