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2nd-half surge not enough as Green Wave fall to Bucktail

Written by: on Monday, October 28th, 2013. Follow Kenny Rossi on Twitter.

 
After a long 3-hour bus ride, Nativity entered the back woods of Pennsylvania looking for a W.
Sadly that didn’t happen as the Green Wave got in a hole early and couldn’t find their way out in a 32-30 overtime loss to the Bucks in an All-American Football Conference contest Friday night.
Missed tackles and costly turnovers killed the Green Wave in the first half. After trailing 24-7 at halftime, the Green Wave (4-5, 2-2 AAFC) fought back to make it 24-24 at the end of regulation.
The Bucks scored on their first possession of overtime, went for two and made it.

The Green Wave added a touchdown in OT but could not convert the two-point conversion.

Bucktail junior Willie Hopkins was all over the field as the ball-hawking cornerback intercepted two passes and broken up several more. On offense, Hopkins carried the ball 17 times for 42 yards and a score. He also had three receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman Dan Lozada led the Green Wave in rushing and passing, carrying the ball 16 times for 68 yards and a score. He also completed 10-of-31 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns.

“I felt pressure, but it didn’t really affect me because the line was hitting their blocks and gave me excellent protection,” Lozada said of the pressure in the fourth quarter and overtime. “Also I knew that the other players have the ability to score in big moments so I knew we all had each other’s back.”

Nativity scored on its first offensive play of the game when Lozada threw a strike to senior wide out Brady Morgan for a 48-yard touchdown catch. The score remained the same throughout the 1st quarter as the Green Wave led 7-0.

The second quarter belonged to the Bucks.
Early in the second they found the promised land as Hopkins took it in from 4 yards out.
Later an errant snap cost the Wave as the ball rolled into end zone for a safety, and senior Trent Risley returned the ensuing free kick 56 yards for a touchdown.
The Bucks scored 16 points in a minute and a half, but they were not finished as Hopkins added a 10-yard run to end the half for a 24-7 Bucktail lead.
The Wave came out hot in the third quarter as junior Ryan Searle punched a score in from 4 yards out. The kickoff following the touchdown was fumbled as the Green Wave took possession.
Lozada added a 3-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter as the Bucks ran just three plays in the quarter, allowing Nativity to pull within 24-21.

The fourth quarter had no scoring until 38 seconds left as senior Aric Foster hit a 22-yard field goal tying the game and forcing OT.

Bucktail was on offense first in overtime a 1 yard Trent Risley run and a onverted two-point conversion gave the Bucks defense an eight-point cushion as they stepped on to the field.

Lozada threw a 10-yard strike to senior wide out Kyle Kaledas. Nativity tried some trickery on the two-point conversion, but it did not work as the Bucks D sniffed it out to preserve the victory

Eastern Conference is still a possibility for Nativity, but its chances for a home playoff game are all but done. The Green Wave need to beat Hancock (Md.) next week to guarantee eligibility for the Eastern Conference playoffs. A win would not guarantee a spot either as the Green Wave would need some help to reach EC.

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