Irish fall at Lawrence to open season at 0-2

For just the third time since Coach Doug Goltz took over the Irish program in 1987, the Sacred Heart football team began the season with two straight losses. In 2004 and 2005, SH fell to B&B Kansas and Friend to open the season. The 2004 loss to Baileyville, 34-0, was also the first time a Goltz-coached football team had been shut out.

On Friday, hoping to avoid the 0-2 mark, SH faced a tough Lawrence-Nelson Raider team on the road.

The Irish hung with the Raiders, even leading 8-6 after the first quarter. Lawrence-Nelson battled back to take a 14-8 halftime lead. The Irish tied the contest at 14 with just under five minutes to play; however, the Raiders scored the final 22 points, sending the Irish home with a 14-36 loss.

The Raiders opened the scoring when Jack Williams scored on a nine-yard run, capping off a 12-play, 52-yard drive to go in front 6-0. SH answered right back as Rob Froeschl scored from 47 yards away with 3:37 to go in the first. The PAT run by Froeschl put the Irish in the lead 8-6.

After the teams traded a couple of possessions, Lawrence-Nelson took the lead with 23 seconds to go in the half, 8-14. A two-yard run by the Raider QB capped off a 12-play, 76-yard drive to give Lawrence-Nelson a jolt before the half.

The second half opened with three straight three-and-outs before the Raiders drove to the Irish five-yard line. Senior Joe Simon jumped in front of a Raider pass and returned the ball 74 yards for the score to tie the game at 14 with 4:57 to play in the third period.

The Lawrence-Nelson offense dominated the rest of the game, going on scoring drives of 54, 53 and 46 yards to seal the win, 14-36.

The Raider defense proved challenging all night long as the Irish offense mustered just eight first downs and 143 yards of total offense. SH was also penalized an uncharacteristically 14 times for 125 in the contest.

The Irish passed for 43 yards and ran for 100, while Lawrence-Nelson threw for 261 yards and ran for 142.

Rob Froeschl led the Irish ground attack with 54 yards and a TD on five attempts. Simon added 36 yards on six carries and QB Tate Wilcox finished with 18 yards on 11 totes. Through the air, Wilcox completed 7/18 attempts for 43 yards. James Froeschl finished with three catches for 18 yards and Jack Stice caught one pass for 20 yards.

On defense, Wilcox, James Froeschl and Simon all finished with 15 tackles. Vaughn Lenard also added 11 tackles and Rob Froeschl stopped nine Raider ballcarriers. Defensive lineman Caleb Kirkendall proved tough up front, finishing with four tackles for losses.

The Irish host 1-1 Nebraska Lutheran Friday night at Jug Brown Stadium. The Knights opened the year with a win at East Butler before falling last week to Silver Lake.

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