Irish shut down by EV-W Eagles

by Dave Schroeder
On a cool, wet, sloppy Friday evening, the Irish invaded Eagle territory to kick off CMC play for the 2010 season. This game had a somewhat big build-up as both teams have been mentioned as a conference favorite this year. The game, however, did not live up to the hype as Eden Valley-Watkins and its stingy defense shut out the Irish 28-0 in the mud.
In the first quarter Eden Valley  jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a one-yard plunge after a long, time-consuming, 12-play drive that was highlighted by a big fourth-down pass completion of 14 yards. 
The Irish offense, however, jumped right back as Jesse Puncochar ripped off a 26-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. Four plays later, Brian Redemske ran in an apparent 30-yard touchdown, but the Irish were called for a chop-block penalty and were pushed back. The penalty seemed to take some steam away from the Irish and put some back into the Eagles as they then shut the Irish down and forced a punt. The Eagles then ran out the first-quarter clock in the rain and mud. 
The Irish also lost Jesse Puncochar to a knee injury. That created a hole both in offense and defense. The Irish started the game without starting quarterback Cam Knudsen (out with a sprained ankle) and OLB Tyler Mavencamp (out with a knee injury) and this just added to the injury woes.
In the second quarter the Eagles continued to control the ball as they were in possession at the end of the first quarter with a first down. They proceeded to march steadily down the field, running the ball in the heavy rain, but did complete a short six-yard pass to secure a first down to keep the drive alive and move inside the Irish five-yard line. The Irish defense held tight and put the Eagles in a fourth-down situation. Then the lightning started and the referees pulled the teams off the field. Under MSHSL rules, in the event of lightning, you must wait at least a half-hour before returning to play. After approximately 45 minutes the game was resumed. EV-W then scored and pushed the lead to 14-0.
After a mess-up on the ensuing kick-off, the Irish started deep in their own territory. On the first play from scrimmage, Alex Couette (who replaced the injured Puncochar) ripped off a 50-yard run to put the Irish well into Eagle territory. However, the Irish could not sustain the drive and turned the ball over on downs. The Eagles then proceeded to move the ball again and hit three big pass completions, the last being an 11-yard strike in the end zone as the first half expired. The Eagles ended the half with a 21-0 lead.
“The Eagles used their size and speed to literally control us the first half,” said Coach Tim Knudsen. “I thought the muddy field would slow them down a bit, but it helped their passing game, as our DBs had good coverage but with the poor footing were not able to defense passes as well. The injuries we sustained hurt us, but poor execution after big plays let us down. We also put the ball on the ground a couple of times that hurt what little momentum we had.” 
In the second half the Irish kicked off to the Eagles. After a deep kick the Eagles returned the ball 50 yards into Irish territory. They proceeded to put together a couple of first downs and moved deeper into Irish territory, but the Maple Lake boys held and forced the Eagles to turn it over on downs. 
The Irish offense then took over and put together a couple of first downs, but were halted short of a third first down and were forced to punt. 
The Eagles were set up in good field position and went back to work and started moving the ball, but a holding penalty on third down pushed them back to a third-and-18 situation. They then completed a 19-yard pass for the first down and three plays later hit pay dirt again with a seven-yard strike and pushed the lead to 28-0. 
The Irish got the ball back and again made a couple of first downs, but the Eagles’ defense got the ball back on downs. They then ran two plays and the third quarter ended with EV-W holding a commanding 28-0 lead.
The fourth quarter started and after only two plays the Irish forced the Eagles to punt. The Irish, however, had no luck moving the ball the rest of the quarter, losing two fumbles and turning it over on downs once. The Irish defense also held the Eagles and the miserable weather and game finally ended with EV-W shutting down the Irish 28-0.
“We knew coming in this would be a very tough game,” said Coach Knudsen. “With the weather and field conditions, our injuries and a very good opponent, we needed to play almost perfectly and we didn’t. We had three turnovers, penalties at the wrong time (there is never a right time), and let them make some big plays when we had them on the ropes. This all adds up to disaster against a good team. I will say the kids played hard in some very miserable conditions. We just got beat by a better team tonight.”
The Irish play the Rockford Rockets on Friday at Irish Country Stadium for Parent’s Night. It will be the first prom committee porkchop feed and the Maple Lake Fire Department will be doing some CPR training before the game. 
Scoring 1 2 3 4 Total
EV-W 7 14 7 0 28
ML 0 0 0 0 0
Offensive stats:
Rushing att yds
Puncochar 2 26
Goelz 2 6
Redemske 5 21
Couette 6 67
Bidwell 6 8
D. Mavencamp 2 1
Hendrickson 1 5
Totals 24 134
Passing att c yds
Bidwell 13 5 43
Receiving c yds
Wurm 3 31
W. Paumen 1 10
Goelz 1 2
Totals 5 43
Defensive stats not available at press time. They were wiped out in the rain and the coaches need to review the game film to retrieve stats.
On a cool, wet, sloppy Friday evening, the Irish invaded Eagle territory to kick off CMC play for the 2010 season. This game had a somewhat big build-up as both teams have been mentioned as a conference favorite this year. The game, however, did not live up to the hype as Eden Valley-Watkins and its stingy defense shut out the Irish 28-0 in the mud.
In the first quarter Eden Valley  jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a one-yard plunge after a long, time-consuming, 12-play drive that was highlighted by a big fourth-down pass completion of 14 yards. 
The Irish offense, however, jumped right back as Jesse Puncochar ripped off a 26-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. Four plays later, Brian Redemske ran in an apparent 30-yard touchdown, but the Irish were called for a chop-block penalty and were pushed back. The penalty seemed to take some steam away from the Irish and put some back into the Eagles as they then shut the Irish down and forced a punt. The Eagles then ran out the first-quarter clock in the rain and mud. 
The Irish also lost Jesse Puncochar to a knee injury. That created a hole both in offense and defense. The Irish started the game without starting quarterback Cam Knudsen (out with a sprained ankle) and OLB Tyler Mavencamp (out with a knee injury) and this just added to the injury woes.
In the second quarter the Eagles continued to control the ball as they were in possession at the end of the first quarter with a first down. They proceeded to march steadily down the field, running the ball in the heavy rain, but did complete a short six-yard pass to secure a first down to keep the drive alive and move inside the Irish five-yard line. The Irish defense held tight and put the Eagles in a fourth-down situation. Then the lightning started and the referees pulled the teams off the field. Under MSHSL rules, in the event of lightning, you must wait at least a half-hour before returning to play. After approximately 45 minutes the game was resumed. EV-W then scored and pushed the lead to 14-0.
After a mess-up on the ensuing kick-off, the Irish started deep in their own territory. On the first play from scrimmage, Alex Couette (who replaced the injured Puncochar) ripped off a 50-yard run to put the Irish well into Eagle territory. However, the Irish could not sustain the drive and turned the ball over on downs. The Eagles then proceeded to move the ball again and hit three big pass completions, the last being an 11-yard strike in the end zone as the first half expired. The Eagles ended the half with a 21-0 lead.
“The Eagles used their size and speed to literally control us the first half,” said Coach Tim Knudsen. “I thought the muddy field would slow them down a bit, but it helped their passing game, as our DBs had good coverage but with the poor footing were not able to defense passes as well. The injuries we sustained hurt us, but poor execution after big plays let us down. We also put the ball on the ground a couple of times that hurt what little momentum we had.” 
In the second half the Irish kicked off to the Eagles. After a deep kick the Eagles returned the ball 50 yards into Irish territory. They proceeded to put together a couple of first downs and moved deeper into Irish territory, but the Maple Lake boys held and forced the Eagles to turn it over on downs. 
The Irish offense then took over and put together a couple of first downs, but were halted short of a third first down and were forced to punt. 
The Eagles were set up in good field position and went back to work and started moving the ball, but a holding penalty on third down pushed them back to a third-and-18 situation. They then completed a 19-yard pass for the first down and three plays later hit pay dirt again with a seven-yard strike and pushed the lead to 28-0. 
The Irish got the ball back and again made a couple of first downs, but the Eagles’ defense got the ball back on downs. They then ran two plays and the third quarter ended with EV-W holding a commanding 28-0 lead.
More information and stats appear in this week's Messenger.
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