Despite playing like an entirely separate team in the second half, the Pella Knights were unable to overcome a sluggish first half in a 31-14 loss to the Des Moines Blaze in their second Midwest Football Alliance meeting this season.
Though the game didn’t share the same characteristics of the disastrous start in a 45-10 loss to the Blaze earlier in the season, the Knights were simply unable to gain any traction in the first half, as snap miscues forced poor field position and yielded a pair of safeties to help Des Moines to an early advantage.
Down 17-10 at the intermission, the Knights used some defensive momentum gained late in the second quarter to slow down the Blaze attack, while finally gaining their own offensive foothold on a 15-yard touchdown run by Jarred Lackey late in the third quarter to pull to within 24-6 after a failed two-point conversion. Pella’s final score came on an 18-yard reception by Reggie Morris to pull within 31-14, but strong play by the Blaze and a costly penalty prevented the Knights from pulling any closer.
Pella finished the evening with 206 yards of total offense – 183 of which came in the second half – while Des Moines rolled up 281 yards. Lackey led the Knights’ rushing attack with 28 yards on 9 carries; and combined with Trent McDermott to go 11-for-26 through the air for 164 yards.
The Pella Knights are now 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the Midwest Football Alliance’s Eastern Conference.