NASHVILLE — On a field that was a muddy, slippery mess, Brown County’s six fumbles were the difference in a 7-0 loss to visiting Edgewood.
The most critical one was a snap out of the shotgun that never got to Brown County quarterback Dillon Boknecht late in the third quarter. Edgewood recovered at Brown County’s 19-yard line.
After the Eagles held tough to force a fourth-and-8 at the 17, Mustangs’ quarterback Nic Brown completed his second pass of the game, a short flare to wide receiver Zack Harrison in the flat. Harrison sprinted down the sideline and scored on an acrobatic slip into the end zone.
Brown had his own troubles handling the ball, but he recovered both of his two fumbles. Edgewood didn’t have a turnover.
“They were bringing pretty good pressure, closing down on our veer,” Edgewood head coach Jerry Bland said. “Give them credit, they have a defensive end (Brandon Callahan) that was there every play to stop what we were trying to do.”
Neither team could get anything going offensively. Each team struggled to gain yards on the ground, and the football was just too wet for either passing game to get untracked.
The longest play from scrimmage in the first half was a 14-yard Eric Dowell run for the Eagles. Dowell was the leading rusher in the game with 14 rushes for 36 yards.
“We had them fouth-and-8 when they scored their touchdown,” said Eagles head coach Ken Wendling. “We had a missed assignment in the flat, and that was the difference in the game.”
The Eagles responded to the touchdown with their longest drive of the game that started at their own 45 yard line after the Mustangs’ ensuing kickoff landed out of bounds. Boknecht took control and began rushing effectively from his quarterback position, picking up yards in 4- and 6-yard chunks.
The Eagles quarterback kept calling his own number and drove his team all the way to the Mustang 8-yard line. The drive was interrupted when a single bolt of lightning was spotted just after Brandon Callahan caught a pass from Boknecht to fourth and less than a yard on the Mustangs’ 35. After the required 30-minute delay, Boknecht ran for the first down and continued the drive.
The Mustang defense stiffened to push Boknecht back to the 10 then held the Eagles on three-straight plays to take over the football on downs with 3:30 left in the game.
The Eagles held Edgewood to a three-and-out on the next series, but the final drive ended when Boknecht was intercepted by Edgewood’s Gabe Koontz with less than a minute remaining.
“We had first and goal inside the 10, and couldn’t get it in. That hurts,” said Wendling. “Our kids played hard.”