Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

NL football knocked out of playoffs

Tigers shut out on the road by Lynnville-Sully in round of 16
Oct 30, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Keontae Luckett (bottom left) tries to shake a tackle from an Eagles defender down the near sideline.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


SULLY — It was a cold and windy night in Sully on Friday, and the rough conditions played right into Lynnville-Sully’s hands. The Eagles’ power running attack and staunch defense was too much for New London, as the Tigers were knocked out of the playoffs 28-0.

Lynnville-Sully’s senior star Sage Zylstra made his presence known early and often. It took just one play to get him into the end zone, as he rumbled 60-yards upfield for a touchdown run on the Eagles’ first snap. The PAT was good and it was 7-0 Eagles in the blink of an eye.

After the Tigers were unable to score on their posession, Lynnville-Sully made it two-in-a-row. This time, a 67-yard drive led by their running game ended with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Elijah Collins. The score was 14-0 and New London needed to buckle down.

The Tiger defense did, in fact, buckle down when they needed to most in the first half. New London stopped three red zone drives in the second quarter and even forced a turnover on an interception by senior Britt Noel.

New London’s offense was held in check the entire half, but did threaten once after a big play from the passing game. Quarterback Isaac McSorley bobbled a snap in the second quarter but scooped it up and found fellow junior Mason Porter, who slipped behind the defense for a 35-yard pass. The Tigers, however, couldn’t capitalize and it was 14-0 at the half.

The back-breaker for New London came early in the third quarter. Lynnville-Sully began the second half just like they began the first, this time scoring on a touchdown pass from Collins to Tyson Vander Linden.

Collins hooked up with Vander Linden for another touchdown minutes later, totallying 87 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter for Vander Linden, as the Eagles blew the game open.

New London’s offense was able to have a little success in the fourth quarter, driving to the red zone on two separate occasions. New London nearly scored on a trick play when junior Keontae Luckett nearly found senior Dallas Bell on a halfback pass, but the Tigers could never get into the end zone and walked out with a 28-point loss.

“I think the weather affected us a little more than we thought it would,” head coach Mark McSorley said after the game. “In the third and fourth quarter, we had some plays where we threw some good passes and didn’t make the catches. That’s uncharacteristic of our team.”

McSorley congratulated the Lynnville-Sully team for the win, saying he’d be pulling for the Eagles to represent the district well down the line. He also looked back on his first year as the New London football coach and a season that ended with the first playoff berth since 2008.

“I’ve learned a lot this year (and) I’m proud to be a part of this team,” McSorley said. “The community support we have for the kids, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

McSorley was 9-24 under center with 90 yards passing. Porter had five catches for 56 yards. Luckett had 21 yards on three catches and Shae Summerfield caught one ball for 13 yards.

Luckett led the rushing attack with 26 yards on eight carries. McSorley had 23 yards rushing. Bell ran for nine yards and Noel ran for one.

The defense was led by sophomore Gavin Holmes, who finished with 12.5 tackles. McSorley had 11 tackles, and Matt Oliver finished with 7.5. Noel’s interception return was the only takeaway for New London. Lynnville-Sully won the turnover battle on two fumble recoveries.

New London finished the regular season 6-3 and will have plenty of ammunition next year. The Tigers will return their leading passer (McSorley), rusher (Luckett), receiver (Porter) and tackler (Holmes) in 2018.

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