Mustangs stumble in bid to topple Freedom
10/6/2019 10:25 PM

The words from Coach Ted Evers were simple, succinct, and repeated several times to his players in the post-game huddle after the Little Chute Mustangs’ game against the Freedom Irish Friday night.

“We’ve got to get better,” he told his players. “We’ve got to get better.”

With only two regular season games left and at least one victory needed to be playoff eligible, the Mustangs fell into a precarious position with a 23-0 loss to the Irish in North Eastern Conference football.

It may have been the team’s most bewildering of its three losses this year, simply because the Mustangs seemed to have no answer to dethrone the first-place Irish. And it all started with Freedom’s first play from scrimmage.

After a three-and-out punt to Freedom with Little Chute’s opening possession, the Irish’s Jon Verhasselt raced 45 yards for a touchdown and 7-0 lead.

Little Chute fought to stay in the game, but the inability to convert any big plays or first downs kept them scoreless for the first time this year. It was a performance that left Evers perplexed on what went wrong.

“We just never got into rhythm tonight,” Evers said. “And I think they had something to do with that. They are a nice football team. They play fast and we didn’t necessarily meet that challenge tonight.”

His comments to his players were to the point if they expect to have further success and qualify for the playoffs.

“The message was we have to get better,” Evers said. “It starts when we come to practice on Monday. We have two more games guaranteed.We have to win one of those to get in the playoffs, but we’d rather win both of them. But to make that happen, we need to improve.”

Defensively, the Mustangs did their best to keep Freedom from running away with the victory. After falling behind 16-0 with 6:27 left in the second quarter, Little Chute kept the Irish in check until an unusual touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.

A pass at the Little Chute 11 from Reeve Lambrecht to Conor Dickrell was a near touchdown. Dickrell fumbled at the one, and Little Chute’s Ryan Verstegen recovered. But as he tried to return the ball from the goal line, the ball was jarred loosed from his hands. It was recovered by Freedom in the end zone, leading to Freedom’s final touchdown and 23-0 decision.


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