Warriors rally past Cyclones, 34-32
HARLAN (Aug. 31) -- Staked to a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter, the Harlan Community football team spent the rest of Friday night trying to hold off the patient, persistent and speedy attack of Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
The Warriors rallied to take their first lead, 28-26, with 5:47 to go before the Cyclones answered back two minutes later to go up 32-28.
In hindsight, HCHS simply scored too soon.
Left with 3:38 to navigate 80 yards, Sergeant Bluff-Luton scored 10 plays later on Britton Delperdang’s one-yard run out of the wildcat formation with 17 seconds remaining.
The Cyclones tried to set up a field goal chance, but Preston Mulligan’s high-arcing heave downfield was intercepted by SB-L’s Zach Shultz near the 20 as time expired, clinching the 10th-ranked (3A) Warriors’ 34-32 non-district win over the fifth-ranked Cyclones at Merrill Field. Both teams are now 1-1 overall.
“There was only about a thousand ways we could have won the ball game,” said HCHS head coach Curt Bladt. “It doesn’t fall on one guy, but it’s a hard pill to swallow.”
The final stats confirmed just how close of a game it was. Sergeant Bluff-Luton finished with a 20-yard edge in total offense, 426-406, including 324-318 in the passing game as quarterbacks Daniel Wright (SB-L) and Mulligan both had excellent nights.
The Warriors converted three more first downs than Harlan (19-16) and were flagged for three more penalties (11-8) while neither side turned the ball over until the final play of the game.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton 34, HCHS 32
HCHS: Eli Boldan 14-yd. pass from Preston Mulligan (kick failed) - 1st qt., 4:03.
HCHS: Mulligan 1-yd. run (Kyle Knudson kick) - 1st qt., 1:50.
HCHS: Boldan 25-yd. pass from Mulligan (Knudson kick) - 2nd qt., 10:27.
SB-L: Britton Delperdang 2-yd. run (David Clausen kick) - 2nd qt., 7:32.
SB-L: Conner Groves 54-yd. pass from Daniel Wright (Clausen kick) - 2nd qt., 2:30.
HCHS: Brett Sears 38-yd. pass from Mulligan (pass failed) - 3rd qt., 0:19.
SB-L: Groves 34-yd. pass from Wright (Clausen kick) - 4th qt., 11:53.
SB-L: Deric Fitzgerald 34-yd. pass from Wright (Clausen kick) - 4th qt., 5:47.
HCHS: Johnathan Monson 9-yd. pass from Mulligan (run failed) - 4th qt., 3:38.
SB-L: Delperdang 1-yd. run (kick blocked) - 4th qt., 0:17.
HCHS Individual Stat Leaders
Rushing -- Johnathan Monson 3-51.
Passing -- Preston Mulligan 19-34-1, 318.
Receiving -- Eli Boldan 7-186, Sears 3-57, A. Schechinger 4-50.
Tackles -- Wyatt Schaben 11 (2s/9a), J. Monson 8 (5s/3a), Jake McLaughlin 8 (5s/3a), Owens 8 (4s/4a), Derec Weyer 8 (2s/6a).
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