“The darker the night, the brighter the stars.” This quote comes from Crime and Punishment, the classic novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, that tackles heavy themes like alienation and nihilism, but its words ring true on a Friday night that had a season’s worth of struggle packed into a 48 minute football game.
The Indians’ beginnings in the Central Time Zone were inauspicious, to say the least. The New Prairie Cougars jumped to a quick 21 point lead in the first quarter with supremacy on both sides of the ball. Then the Indians got a spark from some of their bright stars. Matt Eck tossed Asante Anglin a screen pass from his own end zone that Anglin took 96 yards to the opposite end of the field for the Indians only score of the first half.
The punishment continued in the second quarter when New Prairie added two more touchdowns. Another beacon shone near halftime when Austin Futa ripped the ball away from a Cougar player, stopping New Prairie’s drive.
Regrouping at halftime, the Indians defense built on the good finish to the first half and were able to prevent any scores in the third quarter. Offense also responded when Matt Eck hit Cedric Suggs on a 20 yard pass. Jacob Deahl’s extra point was good just like his first one of the night.
The Blackshirts were able harass New Prairie enough to hold the Cougars to a 34 yard field goal. St. Joe went back on offense desperate to get more points. Those points came when Matt Eck found Kyle Fortener on a 35 yard strike. The 2 point attempt bounced incomplete. New Prairie finished the scoring with a 5 yard run in the last few minutes.
Overall, the Indians were disappointed with much of the night, but to finish the quote from Dostoevsky, “The deeper the grief, the closer is God.” That concluding thought also shows in the St. Joe team. The Indians responded to a catastrophic first half with extra effort and teamwork to make improvements in their play. Football is hard. It is hard physically, mentally, and emotionally. The results were not what was planned, but the team’s hopes still aim toward improvement and success entering into the heart of the NIC schedule.