Fifty-six and counting.
The Steubenville High School football team extended its regular-season unbeaten streak Friday as turnovers and missed opportunities cost Watterson in a 14-0 loss at Hagely Field.
"It was a real physical game," said the Eagles quarterback Pat Nester. "They are a really good team. "We just kept making too many mistakes. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot."
Watterson had two potential scoring opportunities inside Steubenville's 10-yard-line - but both were killed by turnovers.
"We moved the ball, but we couldn't finish it off at the end of the drive," Watterson coach Dan Bjelac said. "We got down there and had our shot, but things just didn't go our way."
The first missed opportunity came in the second quarter when Watterson, trailing 14-0, lined up for a 56-yard field goal attempt, which Bjelac said was well within kicker Seth Willoughby's range.
"We figured we'd take a shot," Bjelac said. "It's not easy to get, but he has hit them from that far."
The attempt was short, but the Eagles benefited from a roughing the kicker penalty that gave them a first down at the 24-yard-line. They advanced to the 3, but Nester was intercepted by Steubenville's Patrick Gilbert on third and goal.
Watterson threatened to score again early in the third quarter with a first-and-goal from the 8. But running back Ryan Kiger was stripped of the football while fighting for extra yardage.
"I thought in the second half, our defense played great and our offense played good enough to protect the football, get a couple first downs and make them drive the field," Steubenville coach Reno Saccoccia said. "The two or three times they did take over in our territory, our kids did a good job of rising to the occasion."
Steubenville made the most of its opportunities in the first half, punching in two early touchdowns on clock-eating scoring drives.
"We felt that we mixed it up very well in the first half - run and pass, inside and outside," Saccoccia said.
Bruising senior fullback Branko Busick scored Big Red's first touchdown on a 6-yard run up the middle in the first quarter, while quarterback Dwight Macon accounted for the other score on a 5-yard run in the second.
Busick finished with 35 yards on nine carries, and Demetrius Brandon carried 12 times for 64 yards. Macon rushed 23 times for 78 yards and added 72 yards through the air on 9-for-12 passing.
The Eagle defense did a good job of containing Macon, a junior, after halftime as all but four of his yards came in the opening two quarters.
"I thought the second half we played way better," Bjelac said. "In the first half, they moved it on us very well. Really, we didn't have a ton of possessions in the first half. Part of that was because they were controlling the ball up front on us and I think we just kind of settled down and started playing better."
The Eagles were led by Kevin Obyc, who rushed for 77 yards on 16 carries. Nester was limited to five completions on 17 attempts for 49 yards and an interception by the swarming Big Red defense.
Watterson, which fell to 4-2, faces a showdown with DeSales, which improved to 6-0 with a 20-10 victory over St. Charles.
We know that we can beat anybody if we just eliminate our mistakes," said Nester. "We got a big one next week, so we've got to just forget about this one and have a good week of practice "
Steubenville 7 7 0 0 14
Watterson 0 0 0 0 0
SBusick 6 run (Stover kick)
SMacon 5 run (Stover kick)
Missed opportunities doom Eagles
Fifty-six and counting.