Friday, October 2, 2015

MLS Football at Ithaca (JV)

On Thursday, the Michigan Lutheran Seminary JV Cardinals traveled west on M-46 and then south on US-127 to face the Yellowjackets of Ithaca.  Ithaca has a fancy stadium, including a jumbotron -- yes, a jumbotron at a high school field, though they do not turn it on for the JV contests.  Winning 4 state titles in a row and coming up just short for a 5th has its rewards, I guess.  We would have not seen the jumbtron anyway.  It is perched behind the visitors' seats.  The visitors, on the other hand, have a blinding view of the sunset.

This contest will probably be replayed in the minds of the Cardinal players and fans for a while.  We had chances.  Oh, yes, we had our chances.

The final score was an Ithaca win, 20-7.  To some, that might sound like domination.  To the MLS faithful who were there, it sounds like we did not cash in on our chances.  Oh, yes, we had our chances.

MLS was behind, 6-0, late in the 2nd quarter, though Ithaca had driven down to about the MLS 20 yard line.  They had the ball 4th and 10.  If we stop them on just this one play, we can see what we can do with about 2-3 minutes left in the half.  Ithaca ended up scoring on their 4th and 10 attempt and added the 2-point conversion.  MLS was down 14-0 at the half.

MLS had a chance to do some real damage in the 3rd quarter.  We drove the ball right down the field.  In fact, on a 4th and short at about the 2 yard line, we got a first down about 12 inches from the end zone.  And then we went backwards -- a penalty (some false starts and offsides calls that no one in the stands could figure out), a broken play.  You get the idea.  Finally on 4th and goal, we threw a pass (intended for Caleb) that was intercepted in the end zone.  Caleb wondered where a flag was for holding.  Coach Koehler asked where was the flag for holding.  The ref ignored everyone and stared at the line of scrimmage.  We had our chance, but Ithaca took their ensuing drive all the way for another score.

We finally did get one in the end zone in the 4th quarter after a series of strong runs up the middle.

Later in the 4th quarter, we had the ball 1st and goal at the 5 yard line.  And then we went backwards.  We turned the ball over on downs near the 5 yard line.  Oh, yes, we had our chances.

Caleb was thrown to a few times.  One was broken up by good defense.  Others were just out of reach.  For the one he did catch, he was hit immediately -- by the official.  The photo of that, amond a few others, is below.
Here is the first half view of the game -- blinding.
Caleb had this one in his hands, but the cornerback (far right) came in and made a good play to break it up.
Here is the play where Caleb hit the ref.  The ref was carted off the field and did not return.
Caleb steps up to make a nice tackle.
We did get it into the end zone on a Noah Nordlie run in the 4th quarter.