HELENA – Carroll College head football coach Mike Van Diest was understandably not in a pleasant mood Saturday following his Saints’ 21-6 loss to the College of Idaho.
“Throw the ball on time. If the ball’s not there, throw it away and not take sacks. We had no timeouts and we took sacks,” Van Diest said in his postgame press conference. “We’ve got to learn to throw the ball away, receivers have to learn to get open. Yeah, we had our chances. You know, I thought the drive that hurt us was 7-0 late in the second quarter, we jump offside on fourth and four on a punt. There is no excuse to do that. And then we have a chance to sack the quarterback and we lose contain, he throws the ball and a player comes off a receiver and sets up a score. To me that was a real key to the game, when it was seven to nothing. You know, seven to nothing at halftime, but 14-nothing is certainly a score to overcome. But that kind of set the tempo because there were three or four missed assignments on that drive. And that penalty on fourth and four, we just made a great stop at mid-field, that hurt us a lot.”
Van Diest’s running back Major Ali echoed the feeling that missed opportunities sunk the Saints’ chance at getting a win in front of their homecoming crowd.
“I mean, from a player’s point, I don’t know if there is anything too encouraging (about the loss to the College of Idaho). I mean, we have yet to put a full game together,” said Ali. “First half offense comes out slow, hats off to the defense. We made a couple of mistakes and they kept us in it, a lot of pressure on them. Offensively we’ve got to get better on third down. We got to convert. We got to stay on the field and give our defense a break and keep the sticks moving. I guess the encouraging thing is obviously we see it’s there. I mean, like it’s been for five games, we’re not consistent as an offense or as a defense, so we got to continue to work on that and we’ll get better.”
Check out photos from homecoming here.