2017-08-31 / Sports

St. Ignace Saints Kick Off Football Season at Inland Lakes

By Kevin R. Hess

The St. Ignace Saints kicked off their football season last week, and with a young and relatively inexperienced squad, it seemed nerves might have gotten the best of the Saints on this night. St. Ignace fumbled on its first play from scrimmage, the first of six turnovers, in route to a 27-20 defeat at the hands of the Inland Lakes Bulldogs Thursday, August 24.

Following the opening fumble, Inland Lakes punched it in to take an early 6-0 lead. The Saints responded on the next drive as junior quarterback Tucker Shepard connected with senior Logan DeKeyser on a touchdown pass. The successful two-point conversion gave St. Ignace an 8-6 lead. Shepard added a second touchdown pass in the second quarter to give St. Ignace a 14-6 halftime lead.

Turnovers plagued the Saints all night, preventing them from extending the lead and giving Inland Lakes extra possessions. The Bulldogs scored 13 unanswered points to take a 19-14 lead into the fourth quarter. Despite the turnovers, the Saints battled, scoring a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to take a 20-19 lead. The Bulldogs responded with a late touchdown of their own, and after a successful two-point conversion, took a 27-20 lead. One final St. Ignace turnover cemented the win for the Bulldogs.

“We need to take better care of the football, plain and simple,” said Saints head Coach Chris “Iffer” Marshall. “Too many mental lapses allowed Inland Lakes to shift momentum their way. We need everyone doing their assignment and trusting one another.”

Despite multiple interceptions, Coach Marshall said the passing game was very strong. A lack of success in the run game, however, made the team too one-dimensional.

“I thought our passing game was actually pretty good,” he said. “Tucker threw a really good ball and showed a lot out there. We need to sure up our run blocking, know our assignments, and run the ball better.”

The Saints look to bounce back against a tough opponent at their home opener Saturday afternoon, September 2, against Munising. The game kicks off at 1 p.m.

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