“It’s difficult no matter what, when it’s your last game,” stated Head Coach Lee Etzler.
The Eagles’ Cory Miller, caught the opening kickoff on Churubusco’s two-yard line and ran the ball down to the Luers’ 49-yard line. Jason Nicodemus ran four more yards for the Eagles while Miller ran for another two. Nicodemus ran four more yards before the Eagles lost one yard in two different plays. An incomplete pass forced the Eagles to punt the football to the Knights.
“We did have opportunities and we could have had a different result in the game,” explained Coach Etzler. “They are very talented and it’s been difficult for any team to move the ball on them this year.”
After the punt, Luers’ Jaylon Smith ran the ball for 33 yards. The Knights got 14 more yards before they went back 15 yards due to a penalty. Luers ran for four more yards before they threw two incomplete passes and were forced to punt the football.
Then Nicodemus took control of the field. In seven plays, he ran the ball five times for 24 yards and caught the football twice for 11 yards but it wasn’t enough and the Eagles had to punt again with 1:47 left in the first quarter.
The Knights started with a five-yard penalty. They ran the ball three times for 33 yards before the whistle blew to end the quarter 0-0.
Luers started the second quarter with a fifteen-yard penalty, but that didn’t stop them. The Knights completed a seven-yard pass and Smith ran the football for a 59-yard touchdown with 10:47 left in the half to make it 7-0 Luers.
Churubusco then had six running plays from Nicodemus and Cody Conwell for 21 yards before the Eagles turned the ball back to Luers on downs.
The Knights received the football on their 32 yard line and got to their 49 yard line before Busco’s Logan Harris intercepted Luers’ pass with 0:18 seconds to go until half. The Eagles let the time run out to end the first half 7-0 Knights.
“There is a lot of talent that they are handing the ball to,” said Coach Etzler. “They put in offensive tackles in the place of tight ends so they are playing seven pretty big offensive linemen. Our kids are playing a whole game. A lot of them are on both sides of the ball so maybe we are wore down a little bit.”
Starting the second half, Luers returned the kickoff 23-yards. The Eagles’ defense then pushed them back with a negative two and four yard run. Next Luers’ threw an incomplete pass and were forced to punt.
The Eagles’ special teams received the punt on their 46-yard line. That gave the Eagles good field position at midfield. Churubusco had runs from Nicodemus, Conwell, and Miller before fumbling the football on Luers’ 23-yard line to turn the ball back to Luers.
The Knights received two penalties right away for five yards apiece. They were able to get a four-yard run before they threw an incomplete pass and were forced to punt.
Churubusco received the ball on the Luers’ 37-yard line. The Eagles ran the ball for 15 yards before Luers intercepted the ball in the end zone giving them the ball on their own 20-yard line with 1:46 left in the third quarter.
The Knights then ran the ball down to their 31 yard line before time ran out in the third quarter making it still 7-0 Luers.
“Nothing to hang our heads about,” explained Coach Etzler. “It’s like I told the kids, we earned a lot of respect this year and earned a lot of respect tonight by how hard they played. We lost a tough football game to a very good football team that was state champions. Frustrating lost, frustrating to lose, and frustrated the season is over but we have nothing to be ashamed of.”
In the first play of the fourth quarter, Parker Conrad sacked Luers’ quarterback causing a fumble and Joe Zumbrun recovering the football for the Eagles.
Churubusco started on the Knights 23 yard line. The Eagles then false started to move them back five yards and moved back another seven yards for a loss on a run. Busco then threw two incomplete passes to turn the ball over on downs.
Luers then took control of the running game and ran seven times for 65 yards to get another touchdown on the Eagles making it 14-0 Knights with 7:27 left to play.
The Eagles received the kick off on their 31-yard line, took four minutes off the clock, and got down to the Luers’ 37-yard line and turned the football over on downs again.
“At times, we were able to move the ball and get first downs, but we didn’t capitalize on our offensive possessions,” stated Coach Etzler. “Yes it’s a little frustrating. Most of the frustration is our season is now done. It’s a very good group of kids that all of us enjoyed coaching and they enjoyed playing together. So that‘s about the most frustrating thing.”
The Knights then ran the ball right down the field in less than a minute and scored again to make it 21-0 Luers with 2:05 left in the game.
Churubusco was only able to get to their 44-yard line before the game ended 21-0 Luers to end the Eagles’ season.
“There isn’t a group of kids to come through this program that have had as much success as these seniors have,” said Coach Etzler. “This group of young men have four conference championships in a row and not many losses. So they have a lot to look back on their career and be proud of.”
The Eagles end their 2012 season at 10-2 going 8-0 in the conference. This group of seniors have set a new win total, going 41-7 (almost half of Coach Etzlers’ wins 85-40) during their four seasons at Churubusco. Also they dominated the NECC by winning 30 and losing only two games, to claim four Conference titles. Just think, in 40 more weeks the 2013 edition of the Eagles will kick off their season.