The SJA Saints traveled up to New Ulm to play the Eagles on a perfect Saturday afternoon.
It was a winnable game for the Saints, but gremlins in the form of key turnovers and an Eagle by the name of Isaiah Johnson did the Saints in.
Johnson scored 5 TD and the Saints gave up some critical turnovers that set the Eagles up for a couple of those TDs and the result was a 32-12 New Ulm win over SJA.
Stats would suggest the game was closer than the score, as SJA out gained New Ulm 364 yard to the Eagles having 334 yards. The Saints also had 12 first downs to New Ulm’s 10. But the game turned on turnovers that Johnson and New Ulm capitalized.
The first half was close as St. James Area and New Ulm traded scores till just before the end of the half.
New Ulm scored first on a nine play 61 yard drive. Johnson capped the drive by catching a ten yard TD pass.
The Saints responded on the first play of the second quarter when fullback Ryan Menssen ran it in from 5 yards out.
The gremlins then struck the Saints when a bad snap from center on a punt gave the ball to New Ulm at the Saints 16 yard line. Johnson ran it in from there.
SJA responded when quarterback Sam Carlson hit wideout Zack Gleiter with a 58 yard bomb for a TD.
New Ulm had converted a two point attempt, but the Saint failed, so SJA trailed 14-12.
The Saints got the ball back late in the second quarter and had a chance to take the lead, but SJA fumbled it away to New Ulm with just 40 seconds left in the half.
The Eagles went 45 yards in that time to take a 20-12 lead. Johnson ran it in from three yards out with nine seconds left in the half.
Big plays by Johnson pushed the final score to 32-12. The Eagle had a 52 yard punt return that set up a 3 yard TD run and he also caught an 87 yard TD pass.
The Saints were able to move the ball, but couldn’t find the endzone in the second half.
SJA was able to establish a running game and rolled up 164 yards on New Ulm.
Isaac Carreon ran for 50, Menssen had 49 and Carlson had 33.
Page 2 of 2 - On the receiving side Gleiter caught three balls for 82 yards, Mason Collier had four catches for 66 yards and Menssen added 50 yards with five catches.
Carlson was 10-18 for 154 yards and Walker Froehling was 2-6 for 44 yards.
The Saints host South Central Conference foe Fairmont on Friday night with game time starting at 7 pm.
After going undefeated in the regular season last year, Fairmont is 2-3 this season. Last Friday Fairmont lost their first SCC game after winning 21 in a row. St. Peter beat them 28-21. SJA lost to St. Peter the week before 24-8.