The heat — and the opposition — made it rough going on Saturday as three Marco Eagles teams lost to West Kendall teams in Miami Xtreme Youth Football League games at Mackle Park.
The Eagles started well, but West Kendall prevailed, 26-0.
Greg Trzyna of the Eagles received the opening kickoff and put the team in good field position. Runs by Wesley Lancaster and Cody Young had the Eagles driving, but a penalty and sack stalled the drive.
West Kendall capitalized on missed tackles and punched in the game's first score and extra point, coach Bill Hollowsky said.
West Kendall stalled the Eagles' next drive and marched the ball down the field for a second touchdown. On a blitz by Zach Gober of the Eagles, West Kendall could not convert the extra point, Hollowsky said.
An interception gave West Kendall its third touchdown. As the game wore on, both teams were busy fighting the heat and injuries, coach Jeff Richart said.
"We had to play many players in new positions because we had to get the kids breaks," he said.
Both sides played strong defense in the second half, with the only score coming on a West Kendall 25-yard pass play.
West Kendall was slowed by key sacks by Wesley Lancaster, Liam Hollowsky and Clint Mayfield. Derrick Ollmer and Tanner Lapidis made key tackles.
Leading the Eagles defense was Gottfried Joseph with three tackles, Hollowsky said.
Coach Jim Young said, "Our players continue to display a never-give-up attitude — which makes us very proud of them — even when facing the extreme heat and concern for the injured players. We will continue to work on blocking techniques and I was very pleased with the pass completions made by several of our players."
The Eagles are 1-5 for the season.
The Eagles lost to the Dolphins, 20-6.
The Eagles had their largest number of players for a game this season (14) and despite the score, played a close game, coach Scott Hauk said.
The defense allowed only one touchdown, with the other scores by the Dolphins coming off turnovers.
Defensively, Eagles linebackers Kyle Mitchusson and Sawyer Hauk led the team with several tackles in the backfield, one causing a fumble that was recovered by Sam Huettel. Devin Martinez and Josh Saintil anchored the defensive line and made several tackles, and ends Sean Hurley and Jeff Leonia, along with corners Connor Knox and Hunter Stewart worked to contain the outside runs of the Dolphins.
Offensively, Conner Knox led the Eagles' efforts with a cool head, despite taking several hard hits and sustaining minor injuries, Hauk said.
The Eagles capitalized on a fumble recovery by scoring on a 41-yard run by Sawyer Hauk. Eagle kicker Kyle Mitchusson then kicked a perfect onside kick, which was recovered by Sean Hurley.
The Eagles tried to spring tailback Anthony Macchiarolo around the outside, but couldn't get the blocking needed and time ran out.
According to Coach Nick Macchiarolo, "The entire team played with heart today, and if just two plays went differently, it would have been a tie game."
Other Eagles who contributed to the team's good showing were Mikey Messina, Cole Cleary, Alonso Lora and Tiger Proehl.
Trouble moving the ball consistently cost the Eagles as they lost to West Kendall, 13-0.
Defensively, the Eagles were led by Victor Lora with a couple of tackles for losses, and Joe Scarpaci, who made a host of tackles and had an interception on an extra-point attempt, coach Steve Schneider said.
"Offensively, we moved the ball well, but due to a couple of inactive players, we were unable to consistently move the ball," he said. "We had three scoring opportunities, but we were not able to convert on any of these drives. Strong play was turned in by Luke Bergen at running back and Hayden Hanscom at quarterback."
The Eagles were missing players, causing others to play positions they had not played before, Schneider said.
"All the players on the team never quit, although some of them were pretty tired when the game entered the fourth quarter," Schneider said. "We played pretty well considering all the adversity we faced this week. There is no quit in this team, and we will be ready to show up and give a strong effort against the next team we face."
The results of the 70-pound game were not reported. The 125-pound team did not play. The Eagles 70-, 80-, 90- and 100-pound teams play at Kendall Boys and Girls Club in Miami and the 125-pound team plays the Tamiami Colts in Miami.