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Rough season continues as JFK loses to Holy Name

October 13, 2013
By MIKE McLAIN - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

WARREN - The person that first said things have to get worse before they get better needs to talk to members of the John F. Kennedy Eagles football team.

As the Eagles continue to dig deeper into what has been a difficult season, the light at the end of the tunnel has yet to shine. JFK has now lost six of seven games and five straight after a 26-19 defeat to the Holy Name Green Wave in a North Coast League game Saturday at Mollenkopf Stadium.

"Obviously we've had success in this program, and that's the tough thing to take," Eagles coach Dave Pappada said. "The kids are frustrated; the coaches are; the fans are. But you look in the mirror and all we ask for is good effort, and I think we get good effort from our kids and our coaches and our fans."

The game played out like most of the other games this season for JFK. The Eagles (1-6 and 0-2 in the NCL) showed the ability to hit some big plays with their speed in the passing game and the scrambling of quarterback Michael Roscoe, but the inability to sustain a ground game and defensive breakdowns proved costly.

Despite those problems, prospects for a win looked promising when the Eagles took a 10-7 lead into the fourth quarter. JFK quickly stretched its lead to 13-7 when Eric Bofenkamp kicked a 30-yard field goal three plays into the final period.

The Green Wave (3-4 and 1-1 in the league) then needed just five plays to march 44 yards, scoring on a 2-yard run by Shahkif Seymour. Donald Stepic added the point-after kick as the Green Wave took a 14-13 lead.

The touchdown drive was set up when Dean Cassell took a kickoff 53 yards.

"We've had trouble all year containing offense and punt returns and kick-off returns and so forth," Pappada said. "All you ask is for good effort, and we got good effort from our kids."

The Eagles regained the lead on their next possession, going 63 yards on nine plays to score on a 3-yard run by Roscoe. Roscoe's pass for the extra two points was broken up at the goal line, but JFK had a 19-14 lead.

The Green Wave then marched 68 yards on six plays to score on a 35-yard pass from Mike Messina to Will Davis, who reached over a defender to make the catch in the end zone. The pass for the conversion points failed.

JFK was stopped on downs when Roscoe was sacked by Nate Vollman on its next possession. Three runs by Seymour, including a 42-yard scamper around the right side for a touchdown, gave Holy Name a 26-19 lead with 1:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.

"They're learning to play under adversity," Green Wave coach Dan Wondolowski said. "Playing the schedule we played earlier in the year made us prepare for this game knowing we can come back from anything."

Seymour had a big night, rushing for 92 yards on 13 carries and catching three passes for 107 yards.

Carl Zallow, who returned to action after suffering a concussion earlier in the season, had four receptions for 102 yards. His brother Chad caught six passes for 69 yards. Roscoe was 16-of-34 for 237 yards.

"We had to stop the pass and contain the quarterback," Wondolowski said. "He's a complete quarterback. He can run and he can throw the football. He extends plays."

The Eagles opened the game with a 12-play, 70-yard drive that produced a 6-yard touchdown run by Roscoe. Holy Name evened the score on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Messina to Dean Supelak.

Bofenkamp kicked the first of his two field goals in the third quarter, from 24 yards out, to give JFK a 10-7 lead.

The Eagles return to action Saturday at Garfield Trinity.