New Life football: Eagles thump St. Agnes 42-8 on Aggies’ homecomingThe New Life Academy football team journeyed to St. Agnes for the Aggies homecoming game at wind-swept SeaFoam Stadium and emerged with a resounding 42-8 victory, on Friday, Oct. 7.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
The New Life Academy football team journeyed to St. Agnes for the Aggies homecoming game at wind-swept SeaFoam Stadium and emerged with a resounding 42-8 victory, on Friday, Oct. 7. After a tight first half which ended 15-8, the Eagles wore down the Aggies with two third quarter scores and padded the margin with two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter on the way to the rout.
For New Life (2-4), senior fullback Max Mattila opened the scoring on a 1-yard plunge and Luke Mikhail added the first of his four extra-point kicks. St. Agnes responded, however, with a long touchdown and a 2-point conversion to gain an 8-7 advantage.
But, a second first-half score by the Eagles came on a 58 pass-run from quarterback Robert Grissom to wide receiver Alex Heiser. Grissom then ran in the conversion for a 15-8 halftime lead.
“We were disappointed in not capitalizing on a first half red zone opportunity which would have given us a two-touchdown lead early in the game and then the subsequent long pass which put the Aggies ahead,” New Life head coach Paul Mork said. “However, we played our best offense of the year overall and struck hard and long in the second half.”
A key play in the midst of the third quarter momentum swinging NLA’s way was an outstanding 15-yard catch by tight end Cody Linton on a pass from Grissom.
New Life amassed 372 total yards total with 330 coming on the ground. NLA tailback Jordan Nieuwsma totaled 184 yards and scored twice as did Mattila. Eddie Blair scored the final touchdown late in the game for the Eagles.
“The offensive line deserves major credit for these totals,” Mork said.
Mork added that Andrew Hrobochak, Sam Dufault, Matt Michaud and Matt Etzweiler all played very well on defense and that Wes Berg had an outstanding interception from his outside linebacker position.
The Eagles play Brooklyn Center at East Ridge this Friday, Oct. 14, and again at home at Woodbury Stadium the following Wednesday, Oct. 19, versus Concordia Academy.
The previous week, New Life suffered a 30-8 loss to St. Anthony.
Unlike St. Agnes, a very strong Huskies’ football team rewarded their homecoming crowd with a 23-point first half en route to their fourth victory of the season over the visiting Eagles on Friday, Sept. 30.
“Big play-it is” marred the visitors efforts throughout the ball game. Long passes, big third down runs, and penalties catapulted the Huskies to their halftime lead. In contrast, New Life needed to get their passing game going with St. Anthony loading up the line of scrimmage to stop the Mattila-Michaud-Nieuwsma running attempts. On this particular night, NLA could not do so.
“The second half was probably our best half of the season versus the quality competition of our previous three opponents,” said Mork. “It was a standoff defensively which we are especially proud of.”
Early in the fourth quarter, New Life scored on a 71-yard run by Niewsma who was returning to running back after three weeks of inactivity due to an ankle injury. Mattila added the extra point by run and the margin was cut to 23-8. However, the big play bug struck again as St. Anthony broke off a 60-yard kickoff return and marched in for a retaliating score and the final margin.
Linebackers Jayme Nelson, Mattila, Michaud and Linton, plus safety Sam Dufault and Etzweiler, an end, had quality games defensively in throttling the potent Huskie running game for the most part, according to Mork.
“The big plays distorted their efforts,” Mork said. “On offense, Grissom took the quarterback reins in the second half and along with good line play from Nelson, LeMay, and Salkowicz enabled the Eagles to make their best drives of the night.”