Howards Grove loses for first time

by Dave Boehler Review Sports Editor

The Howards Grove football team was not up to task Friday in its first loss of the year, 18-0, at Reedsville. The Tigers fell to 3-1 in the Big East Conference (and overall).

“When adversity strikes we have to respond, and we didn’t find a way to respond on Friday,” Howards Grove coach Dave Schmid said. “There has to be something, we have to find a way to fix it if we want to have the type of season we think and know we can have.

“They’re a very good football team, they have 14 seniors, they are big and thick, and we still had our chances but it necessarily didn’t have to do with anything other than our heart or our mentality, or our mental toughness. Mental toughness is probably the biggest word I would use. We lacked the mental toughness that it took to win this football game.”

So how does Schmid get his team to have that mental toughness?

“I think you change it by putting them in situations where it’s tough in practice, which is hard for us because we don’t have a big enough team to go both ways,” the coach said. “So the coaching staff will have to figure out ways to put them in situations to get mentally tough. And I also think it was tough because we started with some teams that probably won’t finish in the top half of our conference. We played well, we just didn’t play well against the team that was our same caliber or slightly better than us.”

Howards Grove had been averaging 43 points per game and was hoping to start 4-0 for the second straight season.

Instead, Reedsville improved to 3-0 in the league and 4-0 overall. The Panthers have allowed just two touchdowns all year.

They made it 12-0 on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and added a 4-yard touchdown run in the final quarter.

Howards Grove’s best chances came in the first half.

In the first quarter, the team had a first down with the ball on the Reedsville 15-yard line. But a penalty was one of the reasons the Tigers ended up turning the ball over on downs.

In the second quarter, a pass was dropped that likely would have resulted in a touchdown.

“We had two scoring opportunities before they scored and did not capitalize,” Schmid said.

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