BEVERLY HILLS — From the start of the camp, Dan MacLean saw his Country Day football team as a contender, a squad capable of getting back to the state finals and avenging last year’s loss at Ford Field.
Deep down, he still believes that, but the road to the playoffs, let alone Ford Field, got a whole lot bumpier Thursday evening.
“It was a pretty self-destructive night,” MacLean said after Country Day lost to Detroit Loyola 20-14, allowing the game-winning score as the clock ran out. “We just had way too many mistakes.”
Country Day, the runner-up in Division 4 a year ago, is now 0-3.
“As a coaching staff, it’s on us to simplify everything right now,” MacLean said. “It has to be a 'one week at a time' approach. It’s tough, but we have to find a way to get the confidence back in this team.”
Loyola struck first Thursday night, using its ground attack to take an 8-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Yellowjackets answered back in the second on a Richard Wilson touchdown run, but trailed 14-7 at the half after another Loyola score.
Wilson tied the game at 14-14 late in the third, but mistakes proved costly.
The Yellowjackets best chance to take the lead came in the fourth quarter when they were stopped on fourth down at the goal line.
Loyola’s defense did just enough to keep Country Day away the rest of the frame, and then, after a long run, converted on the final play of the, a 4-yard touchdown pass as the clock expired.
“Really frustrating, because we gave it away,” MacLean said. “This is a team with so many talented players, but at winning time, we’re not making the plays we need. There were way too many mistakes at bad times. It’s real tough to explain right now.”
Country Day seeks its first win next weekend Detroit Pershing.
Loyola (3-0) takes on Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.