Scotus Central Catholic football took a lead on the No. 1 team in Class C-1 on the road Friday night in Pierce but allowed the next 42 straight points and fell to 1-3 on the season in a 59-21 loss.
After a season-opening win over rival Aquinas, the Shamrocks have now dropped three straight in losses to No. 8 Central City, No. 9 West Point-Beemer and Friday night.
Scotus has little time to feel sorry for itself.
After another road game next week at Raymond Central, the remainder of the schedule includes a home game with No. 3 Wahoo Neumann, a road contest at No. 5 Lakeview and a home game with No. 6 Wahoo two weeks later in the final game of the season.
“I won’t take anything away from Pierce. That’s one of the best football teams we’ve ever played,” head coach Tyler Linder said. “They’re a very talented ball club, very disciplined, very good in the trenches and they had a lot more in the tank in the second half than we did.”
Quarterback Caden Pelan found Tyler Palmer for an 18-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-3 Scotus lead less than two minutes into the second quarter. Pierce hit a 27-yard field goal with 4:05 left in the first quarter for the initial lead until Scotus responded.
It was all downhill for the Shamrocks from there.
Pierce scored on runs of 1, 20, 1, 10 and pass plays of 16 and 54 yards to build a 45-7 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
By the time Palmer scored for the second time on an 18-yard run, it was mostly a moot point.
He added a 90-yard kickoff return with 4:48 left in the game.
“We’ve got to find a way to get our defense off the field. There were too many third-down conversions that were close we just didn’t finish,” Linder said. “A lot of that is kudos to Pierce. They made all of their plays tonight. We didn’t really give them anything, they earned everything they got. We’ve got to find a way to get off the field.”
Pierce running back Carson Oestreich carried the ball 17 times for 190 yards with a touchdown, Brett Tinker went 19 carries for 96 yards and three scores while quarterback Dalton Freeman rushed 12 times for 93 yards and a touchdown and scored twice more on touchdown passes.
The Bluejays racked up 576 yards rushing and 646 total. The Shamrocks totaled just 208 with 124 of that total on the ground.
Palmer picked up 72 of that figure on 12 carries while Eric Mustard rushed nine times for 35 yards. Pelan was 7 of 12 through the air for 84 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
“At this point in the year, there’s still a lot to play for. The playoff system in our league is the best format regardless of the situation you’re in. If you win your district, you’re in. Next week we enter district play,” Linder said. “Our mentality is, we trust our system, we know our system works and we’ve been very successful in the past running what we run.
“It’s not a scheme thing. It’s not a design thing. We have to probably put our kids in a little better situation limiting some of the plays we run offensively and shoring things up on defense. We’ve got a great opportunity in Week 5. We’re really looking forward to that game."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Telegram. You can reach him via email at email@example.com