The rust that comes with a two-week break showed on Aquinas’ offensive side Friday night.
Playing their first game in September, the Irish struggled to convert yardage to points, while Mount de Sales broke through with 14 fourth-quarter points. The Cavaliers pulled out a 14-3 victory at Aquinas.
Aquinas last played Aug. 25 and spent the past two weeks off the playing field because of an open date and postponement.
The Irish offense, which was missing star playmaker George Welch because of an ankle injury, recorded 253 total yards but only three points.
Mount de Sales beat Aquinas for just the second time in six all-time meetings and the first time since 1973.
“Hats off to coach (Keith) Hatcher,” Aquinas coach James Leonard said. “We had no focus pregame. People will say we had two weeks off, but that’s not a good excuse. They earned it. We made a lot of mistakes we couldn’t come back from. They played better.”
Mount de Sales was repeatedly stopped around midfield by a stout Aquinas defense until breaking through behind the legs of Josiah Cotton, who rushed 21 times for 194 yards. He totaled more than 100 yards on the ground in the second half.
With Aquinas (1-2) leading 3-0 entering the fourth quarter, Mount de Sales (3-1) turned to Cotton, who rushed the Cavaliers down the field and took a 7-3 lead on a Dexter Williams short keeper at 10:03.
The Irish showed life midway through the fourth until stalling around the Mount de Sales 35 with six minutes left. The Cavaliers responded with another drive capped by a 25-yard touchdown run by Adrian Hardwick for a 14-3 lead.
Aquinas’ first drive of the game ended on a failed field goal attempt, while Mount de Sales struggled to generate a lengthy drive at any point in the first quarter. The Irish missed multiple opportunities with positive field position after missed connections through the air and stuffed runs.
Joseph Douglas provided the first spark midway through the second quarter on a 35-yard run that took Aquinas to the 5-yard line. Mount de Sales responded by repeatedly stopping runs near the goal line, and the Irish settled for a 21-yard field goal by Crimmins Hankinson at 3:45.
Aquinas quarterback John Paul recorded 111 rushing yards while Douglas added 83.
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216. or firstname.lastname@example.org.