NORTHFIELD – The running theme for New Prague this year has been their inability to stay out of their own way this season be it with turnovers at the wrong time or penalties either extending opponents drives or curtailing their own. Both would come into play Friday night at Memorial Field in Northfield as New Prague fell to Northfield 33-20.
New Prague would get the ball to start the game, but went three and out and gave the ball to Northfield at their own 43 yard line after a punt from New Prague’s Brok Schwartzkopf. The Raiders would march down the field using their three-headed running back monster of Devin Walker, Adam Woitalla and Cody Fugate and good blocking from the offensive line to go 57-yards on eight plays. Northfield would end with a touchdown when 6’1″, 210-pound Devin Walker would punch in the first score of the game to put the Raiders up 7-0. New Prague would move the ball on their next drive, but a holding penalty negated a 15-yard run from Zack Shetka to midfield and end up forcing New Prague to punt.
New Prague would get a gift from Northfield on their next drive late in the first quarter as Devin Walker would fumble the ball and the Trojans would recover at midfield. New Prague would move the ball, but be forced to punt after a failed pitch play and a pass would bump them back 10 yards and make them punt the ball back to Northfield. The big play happened after New Prague went three-and-out and was forced to punt and the snap would go over Schwartzkopf’s head and he would be forced to try and pick the ball up and was tackled at the 1-yard-line. Northfield’s Adam Woitalla would get the carry and get the ball in on the next play to put the Raiders up 13-0 and that would be the score at the half as New Prague’s last drive of the half stalled in Northfield territory to end the half.
Northfield’s first drive of the second half would be methodical down the field as they ran the ball nine times down the field ending with Devin Walker’s second touchdown of the game this time from three yards out to make it 19-0. New Prague would answer with a touchdown of their own going 62-yards ending when quarterback Kyle Stepka would take the ball off the left side untouched into the end zone from four yards to make it 19-6 in favor of Northfield. The big turning point of the game would come on a 3rd-and-10 for Northfield at their own 31 yard line when Northfield quarterback Jacob Mathison would be tackled well shy of a first down, but a personal foul penalty from New Prague away from the ball as the play was completing allow the Raiders drive to continue from midfield and they would make the Trojans pay. Northfield’s Devin Walker would get his third and final touchdown of the game from three-yards out to make the score 26-6 Northfield with just 9:53 left in the game. That’s right the first three drives of the second half took the game into the fourth quarter.
New Prague’s next drive would be the one that did them in as Nick Natole would fumble the ball deep in Trojan territory and Northfield would recover at the New Prague 23-yard-line. Northfield’s Cody Fugate would score on an option pitch from 13-yards to make it 33-6. New Prague would score two touchdowns in the final 6:38, both of which were runs from Zack Shetka, one from 64-yards and the other from 15-yards and would catch a 2-point conversion pass from Kyle Stepka to get the final score of 33-20.
New Prague assistant coach Brian Grensteiner said, “Shetka was explosive tonight and was playing hard the whole game. We just need to work on playing a full four quarters and try and prevent the big plays.”
New Prague falls to 0-3 on the season and 0-2 in the Missota Conference. They will host Chaska next Friday for homecoming at 7pm. That game can be heard on 1350 AM KCHK and online.
By Adam Bartels