There was no mystery to Edinburgh coach Tyler DeSpain why his team lost Friday night.
“I just told the kids we should never lose a game scoring 40 points,” DeSpain said.
Oldenburg Academy nipped the host Lancers 46-40 in a Mid-Indiana Football Conference game.
“Big plays were a killer for both teams. I’ve got a lot of respect for Oldenburg; they stick to what they know to do and they do it well,” said DeSpain, whose team’s record fell to 0-3 and 0-2 in the conference.
The Lancers had two chances to win in the final minutes. On fourth and 7, Riley Palmeter’s pass to Caleb Dewey was ruled out of bounds in the end zone with 3:02 left. Oldenburg (2-0, 1-0) gave Edinburgh another chance by fumbling on its own 37 with 1:10 left, but Palmeter was intercepted by the Twisters’ Pros Moorman in the end zone to seal the wild victory with 21 seconds to go.
DeSpain said his team ran out of gas.
“We play basically 11 guys 90 percent of the game,” DeSpain said. “Our kids started getting tired out. We’re conditioned but only 11 guys can go only so far.”
The Twisters took the lead for good at 46-40 on a 69-yard touchdown run by Dominic McFee, followed by McFee’s two-point conversion run, with 8:13 left in the fourth quarter.
The Lancers had moved into a 40-38 lead with 2:08 left in the third quarter on a 40-yard TD pass from Palmeter to Dewey. The same pair hooked up for a two-point conversion.
Though his team pulled ahead there, DeSpain said the first quarter was a killer.
“The kids came out slow,” he said. “I told them we were a better team than Oldenburg. They just have to believe in themselves. They just have to hit that switch when it comes on the first quarter and not three minutes left in the third quarter.”
One bright spot DeSpain saw was some big pass plays by Palmeter, who threw four touchdown passes.
“I’m extremely pleased about that,” he said. “It’s the small details, the fundamental details, that we really have to work on.”
A 27-yard TD pass from Palmeter to Dewey gave the Lancers their first lead at 32-30 on a fourth-and-11 play midway through the third quarter.
Oldenburg had led Edinburgh 30-18 at halftime. The Lancers had closed the gap to 22-18 on a 4-yard TD run by Austin Streeval with 4:13 left in the second quarter, but the Twisters came right back with a 65-yard by McFee on the next possession.
The Twisters took an 8-0 lead on a 21-yard TD run on a reverse by Tyler Osterling and a two-point conversion run on the opening possession.
The Lancers picked up a key fourth down on a fake punt. That eventually led to a nice drive capped by Palmeter’s 5-yard TD pass to Streeval. The conversion failed and the Lancers trailed 8-6 midway through the first quarter.
After the Twisters increased the lead to 16-6 on 37-yard TD run by Moorman late in the first, Edinburgh scored on Palmeter’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Colin Richardson with 9:43 left in the second quarter to make it 16-12.
Osterling’s 24-yard TD run and two-point conversion pushed the Twisters’ lead back to 22-12.