An 11-year streak of points came to an end on Friday when Aquinas Catholic squandered early chances and suffered a 13-0 defeat at the hands of North Bend.
The Monarchs drove into the Tiger red zone on each of their first three possessions but suffered bad snaps, mishandled snaps, mishandled exchanges and a costly turnover.
They then never made it back into scoring position while North Bend capitalized on one big play and a long scoring drive while handing Aquinas its second loss of the season.
The first drive found complications on a snap over the quarterback's head that turned a second-and-3 into a third-and-12. The drive stalled on downs.
A bad exchange at center on a third-and-2 forced Aquinas to try a field goal on the next drive. It missed.
Finally, a fumble on the third drive capped a stunning start of mistakes that proved to be costly.
"We were the better football team early," Aquinas head coach Ron Mimick said. ..."We lose confidence, they gain confidence, they play well, they beat us."
After the three bad possessions, North Bend scored on a 72-yard pass when an Aquinas defender misplayed the ball.
It gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead headed into the half.
"We misplayed one long pass," Mimick said. "We were one-on-one and we misplayed a long pass and they just beat. We went up too quickly and the ball went over our head."
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Aquinas was held to 163 yards on 43 carries and just 16 yards passing.
North Bend ou tgained Aquinas 335-179 in total yards.
"They played well and gained confidence," Mimick said. "They outplayed us as the game went on. The first half, our unforced errors, we pressed a little too much and they beat us. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. We shot ourselves in the foot. In that second half, they were better. They were the better football team the second half."
North Bend scored again in the third quarter on a 2-yard run to take a 13-0 lead.
"They played hard," Mimick said. "They physically attacked us and started blitzing a bunch. They started attacking the line of scrimmage. They did what they had to do."
The loss drops Aquinas to 5-2 and to No. 7 in Class C-2 according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
Aquinas travels to Twin River (3-4) on Friday before closing out the season with No. 10 Shelby-Rising City on Oct. 25.
The loss, combined with Shelby-Rising City losing to Centennial, creates a four-way tie in C-2 District 4 with two games remaining between Aquinas, Shelby-Rising City, North Bend Central and Centennial. Last year all four teams qualified for playoffs.
"It was frustrating," Mimick said. "We can play better. This happens about every 10 years. Kids get a little complacent. It's exactly what happens. If we learn our lessons as a staff and as a team we can be a better football team because of this."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net