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New Life Academy football: Defending state champs rout Eagles

NLA senior Matt Michaud had 14 rushes for 57 yards in a 48-7 loss to defending Class AAA state champions St. Croix Lutheran on Friday.

Pressured all night by a vaunted St. Croix Lutheran defense and getting bit by the injury bug, the New Life Academy's offense was stifled Friday night.

The New Life Academy football team was beaten 48-7 Friday night by the Class AAA defending champion St. Croix Lutheran at the Crusaders' home field in West St. Paul.

From the opening kickoff, St. Croix - currently ranked sixth in Class AAA - was able to set the tone in the Tri-Metro Conference contest, scoring the bulk of their points early in the game. The Crusaders (3-1; 1-0 TMC) opened the game with a 10 play drive that resulted in a touchdown. They then blocked NLA's punt on the Eagles first drive and scored again two plays later.

At halftime, the score was 34-0 with St. Croix Lutheran in the lead.

Scoring slowed down in the second half, and when the final buzzer sounded, the Crusaders finished with a 35-point victory over the Eagles, who fell to 2-2 and 0-1 in the Tri-Metro.

For the Eagles, NLA senior Matt Michaud finished the game with 14 rushes for 57 yards, none of which were easily gained against a strong St. Croix Lutheran defense. Senior quarterback Mark deLeon went 4-for-12 with 68 yards, hooking up with senior Cameron Mehls twice for 61 yards.

Already down two players who start on both offense and defense, the Eagles saw three more starters leave the game due to injury. The severity of their injuries was not clear.

Senior Sam Dufualt played well for the Eagles, filling in as punter for Luke Mikhail, who was out with an injury. He also played well on defense at the free safety position.

"The spirit is willing and good, but the depth chart is being challenged," head coach Paul Mork said.

Next up for the Eagles is another Tri-Metro Conference opponent in the St. Anthony Huskies, whose only loss this year came at the hands of top ranked Class 3AAA power de la Salle. The game begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, and it will be New Life Academy's Homecoming.