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Yards don’t mean points for Loyal in loss

Based on the numbers from Loyal’s Oct. 23 Central Wisconsin-Small Conference football game against Rosholt, the Greyhounds dominated. That’s not what the scoreboard said at game’s end, though, as Loyal dropped an 18-14 decision that saw its season record slip to 1-3.

Loyal piled up 338 yards of total offense compared to only 97 for Rosholt, but the Greyhounds were not able to finish off several drives. Twice in the fourth quarter alone, Loyal was inside the Rosholt 20-yard line but couldn’t find a way to punch into the end zone.

“We moved the ball all over the place until we got into the red zone,” said head coach Chris Lindner. “We made a mistake here and there and I think they rose to the occasion and we did not.”

Rosholt struck first, putting up six points on a Blade Niewiadomski 13-yard scoring pass to Isaac Cychosz at the 8:45 mark of the first quarter. Loyal answered that score fairly quickly, getting a 7-yard Sullivan Hanson touchdown run with 4:06 left in the first period. Wyatt Dietsche was stopped on the conversion run to leave the score at 6-6.

Loyal took its only lead of the night with 4:34 before haftime on Dietsche’s 4-yard run. Matthew Szymanski added the conversion run for a 14-6 lead.

Rosholt cut the gap back to 14-12 with 1:37 left on another Niewiadomski pass to Cychosz, this one from 15 yards out. The conversion came up short.

What would be the final points of the night came early in the third period. Niewiadomski threw his third touchdown pass of the game with 10:18 to play in the period, this one to Cychosz for 20 yards. Loyal again stopped the conversion play to trail 18-14, but would never be able to get another score.

Loyal had the ball for 68 offensive plays, easily more than twice Rosholt’s 27. Loyal had little trouble moving the ball between the 20s, but could not find the end zone.

“We could not punch it in. That’s been the frustration for us,” Lindner said. “There’s just a number of things that aren’t going right when we get in the red zone. “We’re a couple of plays from reversing our record from 1-3 to 3-1.”

Loyal rushed for 296 yards on 60 carries. Szymanski had a big night, with 186 yards on 38 carries. Dietsche added 79 yards on 11 runs. He also threw eight times, with two completions for 42 yards and an interception. Brady Robida had a 41-yard grab.

The Greyhound defense held Rosholt to 34 net rushing yards on 16 carries. The Rosholt passing game did the damage, as Niewiadomski went 5-for-11 for 63 yards and the three scores.