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New Life Academy senior running back Jake Brand carries the ball up the field in the Eagles’ 16-13 season-opening loss to Minnehaha Academy. Brand had 19 carries for 90 yards in the game. (Submitted photo by Steve Rooker)

New Life Academy: Four turnovers plague Eagles in 2013 opener

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New Life Academy saw their mistakes tip the scale on their efforts in their opening football game of the season.

Eagles quarterback Seth Rice led a fourth quarter drive of 5-for-5 passing capped by a 1-yard touchdown run to pull his team within three against Minnehaha Academy. It proved to be too little, too late, however, as the Eagles could not score again following the two-minute warning in the 16-13 loss to the Redhawks.

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Eagles coach Paul Mork said it was a, “strong effort, but mistake-riddled game.”

The Eagles turned the ball over four times, and they had an offside on a touchdown in the game. Additional penalties also crippled the Eagles throughout the game.

Trailing 3-0 in the second quarter after a Redhawks field goal, Eagles running back Matt Etzweiler put his team on the board with a 5-yard TD run. It panned out as the only Eagle lead of the night, 7-3. The Redhawks went up again on a 49-yard TD pass, 10-7.

“We felt ‘decent’ because we had moved the ball before turnovers squelched drives,” Mork said about the first half.

The Redhawks scored padded their lead late in the third quarter with a rushing TD, 16-7. Rice’s TD pass in the fourth quarter put the Eagles within striking distance again. On that drive, he found receiver Ty Frazier for passes of 4, 5 and seven yards. Rice also connected with Wes Berg for 26-yards.

Despite the loss, the Eagles made some positive strides on offense. Jake Brand had 19 carries and 90 yards rushing for the Eagles to lead the ground game. As a team, the Eagles had 259 all-purpose yards.

They also had a scare with lineman Joel Robinette going down to injury in the fourth quarter. He was taken to Regions Hospital for neck spasms.

The Eagles (0-1, 0-1) will look to get on track this coming Friday when they take on Breck. The Mustangs (0-1, 0-1) fell to Concordia Academy 28-7 in their opener.

-Matthew Davis

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