HCHS wreaks havoc in unbeaten Tigers’ backfield

McLaughlin, Fries lead charge to 14 tackles for loss; Bieker adds pick six as Cyclones win district opener 28-10

 ADEL (Sept. 21) -- The defense of Adel-DeSoto-Minburn was as good as advertised Friday night. Harlan Community’s was better.
 Recording five sacks and 14 total tackles for loss - many of them courtesy of Jake McLaughlin and Allen Fries - the Cyclones forced two turnovers and scored their first defensive touchdown of the season to beat the Tigers 28-10 in a Class 3A, District 9 opener.
 HCHS, ranked 10th last week by the Associated Press, led just 7-3 at the half before scoring the first 21 points of the second half to pull away and hand ADM its first loss. Both football teams are now 4-1 overall.
 Although unranked by the AP, the Tigers were listed ninth in 3A by the Des Moines Register (Harlan was not in their top 10) and were also six spots ahead of HCHS - 5th to 11th - in last week’s 3A RPI standings.
 “They weren’t ranked in the top 10 because they’re slouches,” said Cyclone head coach Curt Bladt, whose team also absorbed a few big sacks and overcame 12 penalties for 102 yards. He was pleased with how they dealt with the adversity.
 “It seemed like we always had our back against the wall trying to make up for a sack or a holding or something that we had to overcome to keep the ball in our possession, and we were able to do that about three times and then the one pick six [touchdown],” Bladt said.
 The Cyclones outgained the Tigers by a slim 274-267 margin in total offense, but won the turnover battle 2-0 and blocked a second-quarter 29-yard field goal that could have made it a 7-6 game at halftime.
 HCHS quarterback Preston Mulligan, who leads Class 3A in passing yards (1,292) and touchdown throws (18), completed 13-of-22 attempts Friday for 192 yards and two TDs while also scoring on a one-yard sneak.

Harlan Community 28, ADM 10
    ADM: Bryce Holm 27-yd. FG - 1st qt., 1:16.
 HCHS: Eli Boldan 21-yd. pass from Preston Mulligan (Kyle Knudson kick) - 2nd qt., 8:53.
 HCHS: Mulligan 1-yd. run (Knudson kick) - 3rd qt., 1:18.
 HCHS: Brett Sears 34-yd. pass from Mulligan (Knudson kick) - 4th qt., 8:21.
 HCHS: Caleb Bieker 19-yd. INT return (Knudson kick) - 4th qt., 8:00.
 ADM: Nick Bradshaw 2-yd. run (Holm kick) - 4th qt., 5:03.
HCHS Individual Stat Leaders
    Rushing -- Alex Schechinger 24-108. Passing -- Mulligan 13-22-0, 192. Receiving -- Brett Sears 4-93, Eli Boldan 3-54.
    Tackles -- Allen Fries 9 (8s/1a), Wyatt Schaben 9 (6s/3a), Jake McLaughlin 7 (4s/3a), Jacob Bruck 6 (5s/1a), Thomas Fah 6 (4s/2a), Brenden Bartley 6 (4s/2a).
    Tackles for loss -- McLaughlin 7 (4s/3a), Fries 5 (4s/1a). QB Sacks -- Fries 2.0, McLaughlin 1.5, J. Bruck 1.0, Olmos 0.5.
 Interception-return yds. -- Bieker 1-19 (TD). Fumble recovery -- Fries. Blocked FG -- Schaben.

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