NEW ULM, Minn. - The MLC football team held a lead late into the third quarter, but was unable to close the deal in a 31-21 loss to Eureka Saturday.
The Knights were outgained 479-199 in the game, with Eureka gaining 310 of those yards through the air. The Knights did most of their damage on the ground, rushing for 166 yards.
Early turnovers once again plagued the Knights, as they turned it over on each of their first two possessions and fell behind 7-0, but Nicholas Kressin returned a kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 heading into the second quarter.
The Red Devils scored on a long touchdown pass from Sam Durley to Wes Schmidgall, but the Knights would once again respond, as Joe Lindloff hit Micah Plocher for a 28-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and 12 to tie the game at 14-14 at halftime.
After the Red Devils took a three-point lead early in the third, MLC took advantage of a Garrett Schoch kick return into Eureka's side of the field and scored on a two-yard Tyler Dorn run to cap a six-play, 42-yard drive.
Following an interception by Paul Spaude at midfield, the Knights drove inside the 10-yard-line before a Kressin fumble halted the drive. The Red Devils made the Knights pay, scoring on the following possession to take the lead, and then scoring an insurance touchdown to get the final margin of victory.
MLC's defense was able to keep the Knights in the game for much of the day. Doug Van Sice had a team-high 12 tackles, including one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss, while Plocher and Ben Hansen had 11 and ten tackles, respectively. Hansen also added one sack and one tackle for loss. Justin Eternick had six tackles and an interception.
Offensively, Lindloff, Dorn and Kressin each rushed for at least 50 yards, while Lindloff also completed two of six passes for 33 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
With the loss, MLC dropped to 1-5 overall and 1-4 in the UMAC, while Eureka improved to 4-1 on the season and 4-0 in league play.
MLC will return to the field on Saturday, October 15, when it travels to Greenville for a 1 p.m. game.