The St. James Area High School Football team started their 2014 season at home Friday night against Brooklyn Center, but a persistent and pernicious inability to defense the deep ball--plus a few untimely and crippling turnovers--doomed the Saints to a 50-25 defeat.

The first backbreaker for the Saints was giving up a 3rd-and-21 conversion on a deep pass that the receiver hauled in as if he were catching a punt inside the five-yard-line. A few plays later, the Centaurs punched it in, and the score went to 32-12 after the extra point was blocked. So, instead of getting the ball back with a chance to close within one score, the Saints fell behind by three scores.

The final coup de grace, however, was after the Saints scored a touchdown to draw within 32-18 moments before halftime. Instead of going into the half off a score and with momentum, they were burned again by the deep ball, with the Centaurs tossing a 21-yard touchdown pass with no time left on the clock. Though the point-after was blocked, the 38-18 score meant the Saints were down three scores at the half--with B.C. slated to receive the second-half kickoff.

The Saints remain home for their next game, Friday at 7 p.m. against Luverne.

For the rest of this story, please see the August 28 print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.