Oct. 23, 2019 — The Sailor’s dreams of taking away a perfect season were dashed on Friday as the Mapleton lost to Lowell. It was a hard loss for Sailors, who hit the road with a 6-0 season when they met the Red Devils on their own turf. But the Devils were undeterred by stats, taking down the Sailors 28-68.
“Basically, we ran into a really good football team,” Mapleton coach Jeff Greene said. “Our offensive and defensive line, we just didn’t play as much as we could have. We felt like we needed to get our linebackers back more rather than just going.”
The first half is where the Sailors really began having issues, with the offense fumbling three times, which could have secured a lead for the second half.
“We were only down by one touchdown in the first quarter,” Greene said. “Actually, we got the ball back and we stopped them.”
But the ball kept slipping out of the Sailors hands, “and then we just didn’t execute,” Greene said. “We had some missed key opportunities blocking and we just couldn’t get it done.”
The Red Devils started to take advantage, and “once that started happening, we just couldn’t stop them. Then they were just scoring, and we just didn’t have an answer,” said Greene. “In eight-man football, momentum goes bad in a hurry. And when it goes the other way, it’s hard to get it back, especially against a good football team.”
The loss against Lowell wasn’t a complete surprise, as the Red Devils are celebrating their own near-perfect season, with only one loss against St. Paul.
The teams the Sailors are facing are only getting better and better.
“There’s no more cupcakes,” Greene said. “It’s a good learning moment for our kids. Lowell taught us some things, what we need to work on this week. We gotta work on our blocking. We got to fix our line blocking. We got to work on our D-line and our linebackers. Our kids need to respond more. In big games like that, they have to fight through adversity.”
And fighting through adversity has been what the Sailors have excelled at this season, battling injuries and concussions at the beginning of the season.
“We’ve been through a lot, but my kids are resilient,” Greene said. “It doesn’t matter how much we go through. We’re still playing for a number two seed this week. I’m really happy with our kids and the way that they’ve responded. It’s been a tough week, and we have a lot to learn from it, but we’ve got to move on to the next game.”
And that the next game, an away match against North Douglas, will be crucial for the Sailors.
“If we win that game, then we could possibly have a home game at state. That’s how big this is for our kids,” Greene said.
If they lose, the Sailors will travel to Perrydale, “and that’s another tough team like we are. We want to win this game. It’s big for us.”
The match against North Douglas won’t be easy. While the Warrior’s started off the season with a string of losses, they’ve fought back and are now holding on to three-game streak.
“We’re two even teams,” Greene said, pointing out a tight game could easily occur.
“We’re getting into this thing.”
Mapleton will travel to North Douglas on Friday, Oct. 25 with the game starting at 7 p.m.