Scaffidi's record setting performance wasn't enough to help the Foresters overcome five turnovers, as they fell to the Cougars 35-27.
"We were really playing well, until the wheels fell off in the second quarter. We were moving the ball at will. We only punted once the entire day. Our ball security is obviously a concern, but most importantly, we need to be able to better reclaim momentum when plays like that happen," said Head Football Coach Jim Catanzaro.
Catanzaro's reference to a second quarter that saw the Foresters commit three consecutive turnovers, and give up 28 points and 248 yards of total offense to the Cougars.
"The turnovers were costly, because we were driving. We can't give teams extra possessions and improved field position. Defensively we were able to get a stop after the fumble, but the interception on the next play, really deflated the success of that effort. I give a lot of credit to Concordia, they took advantage of the situation," commented Catanzaro.
"I was not pleased with our coverage in the second quarter. Our early success defensively, may have lead to some over-confidence. The touchdown before the half is completely inexcusable. We practice that route, versus that coverage, every day in practice. We had two players there, a junior and a senior, one of them has to make that play. They were within two feet of each other, and a foot of the wide receiver. They made a play, and we didn't. We have to be better than that in a critical situation," continued Catanzaro.
The Foresters went into the half down 28-14.
In the second half, the Foresters received the opening kick off, and took the ball 72 yards on 14 plays to cut the lead to seven points. The defense could not hold on the next possession and Concordia increased their lead to 35-21. An interception on the next possession would give the Cougars the ball on the 40 yard line. A stout showing by the defense would hold Concordia to a 40 yard field goal attempt which they missed.
Catanzaro commented on that series in particular, "that was a big stop for us. That could have lead to a major momentum shift, but our defense responded. I was very pleased that they jumped off the sideline and rose to the challenge. We really started to take control of the game defensively at that point."
The Foresters would give up just 45 yards after the final Cougar touchdown, and only 28 after the failed field goal attempt. After the missed field goal, the Forester offense would put together another impressive 16 play 77 yard drive that culminated with a 9 yard touchdown pass from Pete Scaffidi to fellow captain Al Mitchell.
The Foresters would miss the extra point attempt, and the lead would stand at 35-27 in favor of Concordia. The Foresters would have two more opportunities to try to reclaim the lead in the fourth quarter, but the Foresters would turn the ball over on downs after crossing mid-field on their first attempt, and a fumble on first down on their ensuing possession would end their chances at a comeback.
"I was extremely pleased with the way our offensive line played. It really stood out to me. You are looking at four new starters on the line, and they were able to run the ball with great effectiveness and efficiency. I don't think that I saw a 180 plus (186) yard rushing day in their first start. Additionally, they didn't allow a sack. If they can keep doing that, we are going to have a lot of success this season. Defensively, I was very happy with our 3rd down efficiency. That was a major point of emphasis for us after last season. I know that the turnovers will take care of themselves as we watch film and continue to emphasize ball security to our players. We talk to our players about the little things, the details that are not obvious, and those are the things that cost us the game today. Despite the loss, I am positive about our team. This was a good showing against a team that is predicted to finish first or second in their conference. I feel that if we can grow from this experience, we have a very bright season a head of us," concluded Catanzaro.
The Forester Coaching Staff named their players of the week on Sunday, they are as follows:
Offensive POTW: Al Mitchell 26 Rushes for 89 yards, 4 rec. 31 yards, 1 TD. Senior, Pulaski High School, Milwaukee, WI.
Defensive POTW: John Dillon, 6 Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble, 2 QB hurries. Junior, Basha High School, Phoenix, AZ
Special Teams POTW: Jon Gurchak 3/4 Xpt. Averaged 52 yards per kickoff, Freshman, K, Grayslake Central, Grayslake, IL.
Scout Team POTW: Mike Hilliard, Freshman DL, Rockwood Summit High School, St. Louis, MO