By Josh Bronson

WesCom Wire Service

A close contest ended in an overtime loss for the Siskiyou Savages semi-pro football team Saturday night at home.

Four turnovers, including two inside the 10-yard line and one in overtime, cost the Savages their first game of the year in a 20-14 loss to the Klamath County Crusaders at Brookings-Harbor High School.

andquot;It was a good ball game against a good football team,andquot; Savages head coach Dick Trone said. andquot;We were so close. It was fun, although it's never fun to lose.andquot;

Against the Crusaders, who had won its first two games of the season, the Savages had their first scoring opportunity of the game early in the second quarter.

After a pair of fourth down conversions, the first being an 18-yard pass completion from quarterback Tim Crochet to wide receiver Chris White and the second a 1-yard run by Walter McClurg, the Savages found themselves with a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line. However, on second down, the Savages fumbled the ball.

On the ensuing Crusader possession, the Savages retuned the favor right back when Daniel Suban picked off a tipped pass to give the Savages the ball back, although they fumbled again on the next possession.

On defense, the Savages put pressure on the Crusader quarterback and had two tipped passes at the line of scrimmage, forcing the Crusaders into a short punt, giving the Savages excellent field position. After running back Mike Zeck pounded his way for a first down, Crochet and White hooked up again for a 20-yard touchdown pass, as the Savages took a 7-0 lead entering halftime.

The Crusaders tied up the game in the third quarter. On their next possession, Crochet found his favorite target, White, once again for a 38-yard completion, giving the Savages first-and-goal from the 9-yard line. On second down, Zeck plowed his way through the defense and into the end zone for the Savages' second touchdown of the game, as the Savages held a 14-7 lead.

With 3:30 left in the game, the Crusaders tied things up game at 14-14, as the game went into overtime.

In overtime, the Crusaders went for the end zone first, and Miles found Trammell in the far corner to take the 20-14 lead. On the extra point attempt, Nick White and Suban got past the blockers and blocked the kick, giving the Savages a chance to win.

But on second down of the Savages possession, Crochet had to scramble out of the pocket and threw an errant pass into the hands of a Crusader, ending the game with a 20-14 loss.

The Savages play an away game against the Dalles Coyotes on Saturday, and versus the Medford Warriors on Saturday, April 14. The next home game for the Savages is on Saturday, April 21, against the Salem Monarchs at 6 p.m.

Triplicate Sports Editor Bill Choy contributed to the story.