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New Life Academy football: Eagles dealt first loss of season

Submitted photo NLA fullback Jake Brand scored the first Eagles touchdown on a 15-yard run in a 41-15 loss to Providence Academy on Friday. The senior had 10 carries for 91 yards in the game.

New Life Academy lost its first game of the season Friday as they got beat-up by Providence Academy.

Mental mistakes and player miscues plagued the New Life Academy football team Friday night, and the Providence Academy Lions were able to capitalize when they needed to in a 41-15 victory over the Eagles.

NLA showed promise right out of the gates when senior co-captain Cameron Mehls returned the opening kickoff to midfield. On the first play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Mark deLeon was unable to connect with a wide open receiver down field.

The Eagles were forced to punt, however, and on the Lions first play from scrimmage, quarterback Jackson Canfield ran for a 23-yard touchdown.

That set the tone for much of the rest of the game, and the Lions were able to lead 35-0 with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.

The Eagles were able to show some life after that, though, scoring the next two touchdowns in the game and giving the NLA faithful thoughts of a comeback.

Senior fullback Jake Brand scored the first Eagle touchdown on a 15-yard run. After a Providence punt, the Eagles were able to again march the ball down the field, and deLeon hooked up with senior co-captain Luke Mikhail for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. Brand would score a 2-point conversion after that to make the score 35-15.

Providence Academy scored one more touchdown later in the fourth quarter, and NLA blocked the extra point, making the final score 41-15.

Brand ended the evening with 91 tough rushing yards on 10 attempts and garnering praise from Head Coach Paul Mork.

"Jake Brand had an excellent game at fullback," Mork said. "I was pleased with the second half effort, and we have some good things to build on."

The Eagles battle their first Tri-Metro East conference opponent this Friday night when they travel to West St. Paul to take on defending 3AAA state champion St. Croix Lutheran. The Crusaders are coming off their first loss of the year as they lost to this year's 3AAA top-ranked De La Salle.