After falling behind 19-0 early on, the EC football team rallied throughout the second half and put themselves in a position to win the game on the final play of the day; however, their last second hail mary attempt fell incomplete in the endzone. The Bluejays fell to 0-2 to begin their season after a 26-20 loss to the Olivet College Comets on Sept. 9 at Langhorst Field.
Despite the loss, EC outscored the Comets 20-7 once junior quarterback Orlando Hernandez got the Bluejays on the scoreboard with his 1-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.
According to Bluejays head coach Ron Planz, the biggest difference between the two halves for the offense was simply efficiency.
“[The offense] just found themselves [in the second half]. We didn’t change any game plans or anything. We were just able to run the plays we practiced a little bit more efficiently,” said Planz. “The game plan that the offensive coaches had was the right plan, as you can see in the second half because we didn’t change anything. We were able to just get executing.”
After the Hernandez touchdown, junior running back Ben Holloway followed up with a 7-yard rushing score of his own early in the third quarter; however, it was the 47-yard Hernandez touchdown pass to junior tight end Matt Brachmann with 6:13 remaining in the game that brought the Bluejays back to within a single score in the fourth quarter.
“We all started to pick it up,” said Brachmann. “I mean we have a quarterback with the ‘it’ factor. He just knows what to do and how to move that ball up and down the field. He’s a great leader in the huddle [and] there’s nothing much more you can ask for. We have a lot of guys that are brought in and when we need it they know how to step up.”
Senior linebacker Mike Dicken and his defense were able to keep the Bluejays in the game as the offense rallied throughout the second half.
“We just wanted to make sure we did everything we could and just never give up,” said Dicken. “We know we’ve got guys on the team who can make anything happen on any play, so we just stay confident and do it one play at a time.”
Although he was disappointed with the outcome, Bluejays head coach Ron Planz was able to recognize some positive signs heading into conference play next week.
“If we can get out of our way, we won’t find ourselves in those 19-0 holes, but until we learn that, at least we know how to play football, at least we keep fighting,” said Planz. “That’s who we are, that’s who we try to be. We’re trying to be a team that doesn’t quit no matter what’s on the scoreboard. So I’m very proud of the guys from that standpoint.”
Dicken did his best to sum up his feelings about the season heading into conference play next week.
“I feel like offense finally found their rhythm later in the game and I feel like that’s definitely gonna carry over to North Park.”
EC will hit the road for their CCIW opener on Sept. 16 at North Park University. Kickoff is schedule for 1 p.m. between the Bluejays and the Vikings.