Costly Turnovers Lead to Loss at Eureka
EUREKA, Ill. - The MLC football team outgained Eureka, but saw Eureka score 13 points off three turnovers in a 22-12 loss Saturday.
The Knights' first turnover was costly, as Eureka recovered a fumble by tight end Trent Tatje inside the MLC 20-yard-line and scored two plays later to take a 7-0 lead five minutes into the first quarter.
Eureka struck again late in the first half, capping an 11-play drive with a Sam Durley touchdown pass to take a 14-0 lead into the half.
The final turnover for the Knights on the day came at the start of the third quarter. Quarterback Luke Rothe was hit and fumbled deep inside MLC territory, leading to a Eureka touchdown that pushed the MLC deficit to 20-0 after a missed extra point.
The MLC offense came alive after that point. Rothe moved the ball through the air and threw touchdown passes to Dan Rodewald and Josh Rathje in the Knights' next two possessions, but the Knights missed an extra point and a two-point conversation attempt, so they still trailed 20-12 at the end of three.
In the Knights' next possession at the start the fourth quarter, they marched down to the Eureka 18-yard-line before turning the ball over on downs. The MLC defense continued to keep the team in the game, but the offense was unable to get back into scoring range the rest of the way as Eureka added a safety late in the fourth quarter to finish off the win.
Rothe finished the day with 140 yards passing and 74 yards rushing as the Knights outgained Eureka 271-248 overall, 96-78 on the ground, and 175-170 through the air. Micah Plocher and Scott Henrich were Rothe's top targets through the air, finishing with 64 and 63 yards, respectively.
The defensive effort was led by Benjamin Olson, who led the team with 15 tackles. Paul Spaude and Conrad Dewey each finished with ten tackles, while Derek Loewen added nine.
With the loss, MLC dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-4 in the UMAC, while Eureka improved to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in league play.
MLC will return to action on Saturday, October 13, when it hosts Greenville in a game scheduled to start at 1 p.m.