Trojan offense stalls in 6-2 loss to Holy Angels

Going into Friday's game against Holy Angels, New Prague High School football coach Tony Buthe was worried about the team speed of the Stars and how the Trojans would stack up against them.

It turns out, the Trojans did all right, holding the Stars to 155 yards of total offense and a single scoring drive, which was aided by a key fourth-down conversion and a pass interference call on a third-and-long play.

Unfortunately for Buthe and the Trojans, that was all Holy Angels would need, as the Stars shut down the New Prague offense, and the result was a 6-2 Holy Angels' win.

The Trojan's first loss of the season puts Holy Angels and Hutchinson in a tie for first place in the Missota Conference. New Prague's main goal this week will be to keep the Stars in first place, as the Trojans will host Hutchinson Friday. The Tigers and their powerful running game handed Farmington its first conference defeat in three seasons, in a convincing 40-8 game televised on Fox Sports Net.

New Prague (1-1 conference, 2-1 overall) is tied for third place in the Missota Conference with three other teams.

Both teams had trouble moving the ball throughout the game. New Prague didn't get a first down until the next-to-last play of the first half and had one yard of total offense at halftime. Quarterback Tim Stepka threw incomplete on his only two pass attempts in the half, and was sacked three times for minus-21 yards.

Holy Angels didn't have much better luck. While they were able to get some yardage and a few first downs, they punted on their first three possessions. On the fourth possession, they lost eight yards on three plays and went back into punt formation, but a high snap went over the punter's head and through the end zone for a safety, giving the Trojans a 2-0 lead.

The Trojans had good field position following the free kick, but lost yardage on two sacks and had to punt back to the Stars. Holy Angels put together its best drive of the night, and the only scoring drive of the game, going 65 yards on 17 plays. The Stars almost came up short though, taking four plays after a first and goal on the three before they could score. The point after was no good, and Holy Angels led 6-2 late in the first half

Both teams continued to struggle in the second half. The Trojans went to the air on one drive in the third quarter, completing two of six passes and getting one first down, but the drive stalled. On the next possessions, they competed a 17-yard pass from Stepka to Weiers, but two plays later the Trojans fumbled and Holy Angels recovered.

The Stars couldn't get any offensive momentum in the second half, getting just three first downs - one by penalty.

New Prague looked like it had lost its last chance, turning the ball over in Stars territory late in the fourth quarter, but two plays later, the Stars returned the favor with a fumble, and New Prague had the ball in striking distance with less than two minutes remaining. A one-yard loss on a run, followed by a sack, a penalty and an incompletion gave the Trojans a fourth-an-17. Stepka threw along the sideline to Eric Meger, who looked like he made the catch along the sideline. But the junior was ruled out of bounds, and the Stars had dodged the bullet to take the win.

New Prague had 18 yards rushing and 51 passing for a total of 69 yards of offense. The Stars had 61 rushing and 94 passing for 156 total yards.

David Skluzacek led the Trojans rushing, with seven carries for 30 yards. Nick Zweber had six carries for 14 yards, Andy Zweber three for seven, Drew Feuk eight carries for a net zero yards, Justin Novak one carry for minus-four yards and Stepka had seven carries - mostly sacks, for minus-29 yards.

Stepka was 7-of-19 passing for 54 yards and one interception. Weiers caught five passes for 43 yards, Feuk had one catch for five yards and Marty DeValk one catch for four yards.

Nick Zweber was the workhorse for the Trojan defense, making 16 tackles, including four unassisted. Josh Lindquist had 13 tackles, five unassisted, and Mike Jirik had 11 tackles one unassisted. Jirik, Lindquist and Weiers each had a sack, and Weiers forced two fumbles, recovering one when he stripped the ball away form the carrier.

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