Cyclones’ District 2 gauntlet continues at the Dome

Class 3A Football Playoff Semifinal: Harlan Community (11-0) vs. Humboldt (11-0) • Wildcats led by talented quarterback, beefy D-line and ball-hawking secondary

 CEDAR FALLS (Nov. 13) -- If the Harlan Community football team keeps on winning, eventually it will face a Class 3A playoff opponent from somewhere outside District 2.
 Tomorrow, though, is not yet that day.
 After shutting out third-place Ballard (45-0) and second-place Nevada (38-0) in the first two playoff rounds, the top-ranked Cyclones (11-0) will now meet District 2 champ and 4th-ranked Humboldt (11-0) in a 3A semifinal at the UNI-Dome Saturday night.
 Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the last of 14 state semifinal games played during a four-day span in Cedar Falls.
 HCHS, last year’s runner-up, is striving for its second straight trip to the 3A state title game while Humboldt is playing at the dome for the first time since winning a state championship in 2006. The winner will match up with Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (11-0) or Solon (11-0) in next Friday’s title game at 1:00 p.m.
 Cyclone head coach Todd Bladt was asked what makes Humboldt the best of the lot from District 2.
 “I think they execute really well and their quarterback is a special player. He’s a dual-threat guy,” said Bladt, referring to six-foot, 180-pound senior Caden Matson.
 “He can do a lot of things with the ball, and that comes from the guys up front too. He’s got some big guys in front of him, and defensively they’ve got some big guys. Their nose guard - I think he’s got D10 for his number. That’s a pretty big Caterpillar. He’s about 6-4, 330, and he goes hard."
 The Wildcats, who will be the home team Saturday based on RPI seeding (Humboldt 2nd, HCHS 3rd), have advanced to this point with playoff wins of 47-6 over Hampton-Dumont-CAL and 42-21 over Independence.
 Humboldt is making its first playoff appearance since 2015 and has taken big strides in a short amount of time, going 2-9 in 2019, 5-4 with a playoff win last year and now 11-0.
 “Two years ago when we went 2-7 we were close in multiple games, we just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Humboldt head coach Derrick Elman. “Last year, we had great senior leadership, and you could see that our kids were making changes in all sports.
 “The biggest reason for our growth has been our kids’ commitment to our strength and speed program. After last year’s taste of the playoffs... they went to work and have earned this opportunity. This is a case of a group of kids who made the decision to get better.”

Notes:

• The Cyclones haven’t allowed a point since the fourth quarter at ADM in Week 7 - four shutouts ago - and have not been held below 36 points all season.
• Humboldt’s lightning-quick QB, Caden Matson, has posted impressive numbers so far in 2021, completing 72.2 percent of his passes (151-of-209) for 2,441 yards and 32 touchdowns while being intercepted eight times. HCHS junior Teagon Kasperbauer, meanwhile, has completed 140-of-213 passes (65.7 percent) for 2,696 yards, 40 TDs and seven INTs. Matson adds a running dimension as well - on designed plays and scrambles - easily leading the team with 1,543 rushing yards (7.1 per carry) and 15 additional scores.
• Humboldt is one of the few teams in the state to punt less often than the Cyclones this year with only nine attempts in 11 games. HCHS has punted 11 times.
• The Wildcats possess Class 3A’s leading receiver in junior Will Orness, who has caught 70 passes for 1,151 yards and 15 TDs.

Full story in Nov. 12 Harlan News-Advertiser

Harlan Community (11-0)
vs. Lewis Central    Won 36-29
at Grinnell               Won 56-7
vs. Sgt. Bluff-Luton    Won 55-26
at Glenwood            Won 41-13
vs. Saydel                Won 64-0
at Atlantic                 Won 55-7
at ADM, Adel           Won 58-30
vs. Creston              Won 42-0
at Knoxville              Won 76-0
PLAYOFFS
vs. Ballard               Won 45-0
vs. Nevada              Won 38-0
Individual Stat Leaders
 Passing: Teagon Kasperbauer 140/213 (65.7%), 2696, 40 TDs, 7 INTs.
 Rushing: Aidan Hall 73-705 (9.7), 16 TDs; William Kenkel 78-329 (4.2), 6 TDs; Noah Schmitz 29-194 (6.7), 6 TDs; Luke Musich 33-186 (5.6), 2 TDs.
 Receiving: Connor Frame 42-918 (21.9), 20 TDs; Joey Moser 30-648 (21.6), 9 TDs; Hall 25-578 (23.1), 6 TDs; Jacob Birch 35-497 (14.2), 5 TDs; Cade Sears 3-84 (28.0), 1 TD.
 Tackles: Jameson Bieker 49.5 (25s), Lucas Stanley 47.5 (21s), Garrett Assmann 33.5 (16s), Alex Monson 30.5 (14s), Matthew Sorfonden 30.5 (19s), Zane Bendorf 28.0 (12s).
 Tackles for loss: Bieker 10.0, Stanley 7.5, Monson 7.0, Assmann 6.5, Bendorf 5.0, Franz Reisz 4.5.
 QB Sacks: Bieker 6.5, Assmann 2.0, Will McLaughlin 2.0.
 Fumble recoveries: Six with 1.
 INTs-return yards -- Frame 2-44, Ashton Lyon 2-28, Brad Curren 1-28 (TD), three more with 1.
 Kickoff Returns: Moser 13-250 (19.2), N. Schmitz 2-72 (36.0), Frame 1-49 (TD).
 Punt Returns: Moser 17-246 (14.5), 2 TDs; Frame 12-221 (18.4), 1 TD; Musich 4-71 (17.8).
 Kickoffs: Stephen Leinen 89-5125 (57.6), 58 touchbacks.
 PATs: Leinen 70/74. FGs: Leinen 5/6 (47).
 Punts: Leinen 11-400 (36.4).

Humboldt (11-0)
at Webster City                        Won 35-7
vs. Garner-Hayfield-Ventura    Won 41-14
vs. Estherville-Lincoln Central    Won 38-28
at Boone                                  Won 40-12
vs. Ballard                               Won 40-0
at North Polk                           Won 52-31
at Gilbert                                 Won 34-10
vs. Nevada                             Won 19-15
vs. Algona                              Won 35-26
PLAYOFFS
vs. Hampton-Dumont-CAL    Won 47-6
vs. Independence    Won 42-21
Individual Stat Leaders
 Passing: Caden Matson 151/209 (72.2%), 2441, 32 TDs, 8 INTs.
 Rushing: Matson 217-1543 (7.1), 15 TDs; Lance Coon 80-460 (5.8), 5 TDs.
 Receiving: Will Orness 70-1151 (16.4), 15 TDs; Jacob Heier 39-733 (18.8), 11 TDs; Corey Dettmann 23-338 (14.7), 4 TDs; Trever Beach 4-84 (21.0).
 Tackles: Tanner McKimmey 81.5 (49s), Nolan Lammers 71.0 (49s), Christian Alcala 65.5 (39s), Matson 52.5 (35s), Tayeton Lohaus 37.5 (27s), Dettmann 34.0 (21s), Owen Hubbell 33.5 (18s).
 Tackles for loss: Lammers 12.0, Lohaus 11.5, Alcala 9.5, McKimmey 6.0.
 QB Sacks: Lohaus 5.0, Alcala 2.5.
 Fumble recoveries: Matson 2, Carson Berte 1-64 (TD), Orness 1-38, Lammers 1-0 (TD), McKimmey 1-0.
 INTs-return yards: Orness 4-108 (1 TD), Dettmann 3-44, Lammers 3-8, Matson 2-66, Tracen Troyer 2-37, four more with 1.
 Kickoff Returns: Dettmann 10-182, Orness 8-125, Trever Beach 3-41 (13.7).
 Punt Returns: Orness 7-63 (9.0), Dettmann 3-53 (17.7).
 Kickoffs: Beach 70-3060 (43.7), 4 touchbacks.
 PATs: Beach 51/59. FGs: Beach 2/5 (42).
 Punts: Orness 9-343 (38.1).

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