A fumble at the goal line, a touchdown called back because of a penalty, a long pass just out of reach of a receiver’s hands all made it seem like Model just couldn’t catch a break at home against Mt. Zion-Carroll.
The visiting Eagles used a strong running game to find room on offense and kept the Blue Devils pinned up on their half of the field most of the night.
“We just lack consistency right now,” first-year head coach Ricky Ross said after the scrimmage. “That’s on us, and that’s on me. But those long runs will not turn into long runs if everybody is hustling and everybody is running. So right now we just lack that pure passion, and at times when we have it you see good things.”
While they put together drives down the field, the team was plagued by penalties, fumbles and miscues. Model’s first string was kept out of the end zone for the duration of their three quarters on the field.
A 42-yard field goal from Matthew Syverson was the Devils’ only offensive production until a touchdown run from freshman quarterback Landon Cantrell in the final minute of the game.
Model started the game strong, opening with a 10-play drive that included a 13-yard pass from Sam Silver to Kwalic Dublin to get the Devils near midfield. The drive however fizzled out and they turned the ball over on downs.
Ross said his team lacked the passion they needed to get things done on the field.
“You’ve got have passion and enthusiasm,” he said. “When adversity hits, if you put your head down, only more adversity piles on. You have to find your enthusiasm and your passion and change it.”
The Blue Devils looked to get on the scoreboard in the third quarter when Hunter King scored from 4 yards out, but a personal foul on the offense took away the score and pushed Model back to the 19-yard line. King again took the ball and got within the 10-yard line before fumbling and the Eagles recovered.
The Blue Devils will open the season Friday on the road when they travel to LaFayette in a non-region game.