3A Football Championship Game: HCHS (12-0) vs. B-H/RV (12-0) • Nov. 19, 1:00 p.m. • UNI-Dome; Cyclones face Nighthawks in 1 vs. 2 battle of unbeatens; winner takes home state title trophy

 CEDAR FALLS (Nov. 19) -- There’s an interesting progression to the all-time series between the Harlan Community and Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley football teams.
 The Cyclones and Nighthawks have met four previous times - all in the playoffs - since the turn of the century. HCHS won a first-round road game in 2000, a second-round home game in 2010, a home quarterfinal in 2011 and last year’s semifinal at the UNI-Dome.
 And now they play for all the marbles.
 Friday’s Class 3A state title game will feature the top-ranked Cyclones (12-0) against the second-ranked Nighthawks (12-0), slated for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff inside the UNI-Dome.
 Both teams feature an explosive offense and a stout, ball-hawking defense, making the hypothetical over/under a bit tricky for this one.
 “Here’s my take: it could either end 55-54 or 7-6,” said HCHS head coach Todd Bladt with a big laugh. “I really just don’t know how this baby is going to play out. They’re a real good team. They have a fantastic defense. They have a fantastic offense. We’re good on both sides of the ball, so I think it’s going to be a battle.”
 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley’s Cory Brandt, in his 27th year as a head coach, offered this take on facing the Cyclones again.
 “I am so impressed with this year’s Harlan team,” he said. “They are excellent in all phases of the game and are a very physical and athletic football team. They have great athletes and are coached so well by Coach Bladt and his staff. We are going to have to play at a very high level to compete with this team.”
 HCHS advanced to its second straight championship game and the 22nd in school history (six more than any other school in the state) with Saturday’s 45-19 semifinal win over Humboldt. B-H/RV stormed into its fourth state final with a dominating 42-0 win over Solon. The Nighthawks won the 2A title in 2016 and were the runner-up two years later.
 The Cyclones, meanwhile, are seeking to win their state-leading 13th football championship and also become the first team in Iowa to record 100 official playoff wins.
 Plagued by second-half interceptions, HCHS lost to North Scott 30-6 in last year’s 3A final. A win on Friday would earn the school its first football title since 2009.
 “It’s been a couple of days since we had a championship trophy come into the case,” Bladt said. “I think our kids are focused on what they want to achieve and they have their goals set pretty darn high.
 “I think it’d be a big deal for these guys to get some redemption [from last year], but they’re still playing one play at a time. That’s our mantra and we’re going to stick to that all the way through. Our (focus is) going to be on what we can control, and that’s the next play. It’s going to be a kickoff one way or the other and then we’ll go from there.”

Full story in Nov. 19 Harlan News-Advertiser

Series History
 Harlan Community is 4-0 all-time against Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, winning four playoff matchups. The Cyclones won a first round game at B-H-/RV 25-0 in 2000 and defeated the Nighthawks twice in Harlan, winning a 2010 second round game 38-7 and a 2011 quarterfinal 28-7. The two teams met again in last year’s 3A semifinal round at the UNI-Dome, with HCHS prevailing 44-7.

Harlan Community (12-0)
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
vs. Ballard                Won 45-0
vs. Nevada              Won 38-0
vs. Humboldt           Won 45-19 (at UNI-Dome)
HCHS Individual Stat Leaders
 Passing: Teagon Kasperbauer 158/243 (65.0%), 3034, 44 TDs, 7 INTs.
 Rushing: Aidan Hall 87-760 (8.7), 16 TDs; William Kenkel 90-363 (4.0), 7 TDs; Noah Schmitz 29-194 (6.7), 6 TDs; Luke Musich 35-192 (5.5), 2 TDs.
 Receiving: Connor Frame 46-1020 (22.2), 21 TDs; Hall 30-725 (24.2), 7 TDs; Joey Moser 32-656 (20.5), 9 TDs; Jacob Birch 42-578 (13.8), 7 TDs; Cade Sears 3-84 (28.0), 1 TD.
 Tackles: Jameson Bieker 54.0 (28s), Lucas Stanley 53.5 (23s), Garrett Assmann 36.5 (17s), Matthew Sorfonden 35.0 (21s), Alex Monson 34.5 (16s), Zane Bendorf 33.0 (14s), Joseph Fah 25.0 (16s), Hall 24.0 (21s), Reisz 23.5 (12s), Bret Van Baale 20.0 (12s).
 Tackles for loss: Bieker 11.5, Stanley 9.0, Monson 7.5, Assmann 7.0, Bendorf 6.5, Franz Reisz 4.5, Matt Schwery 4.0.
 QB Sacks: Bieker 7.0, Assmann 2.0, Will McLaughlin 2.0, Bendorf 2.0, Monson 1.5.
 Fumble recoveries: Six with 1.
 Interceptions 10: Hall 2-71 (1 TD), Frame 2-44, Brad Curren 2-38 (1 TD), Ashton Lyon 2-28.
 Kickoff Returns: Moser 16-321 (20.1), 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), Hall 2-40 (20.0).
 Kickoffs: Stephen Leinen 97-5588 (57.6), 60 touchbacks.
 PATs: Leinen 76-80. FGs: Leinen 6-8 (47).
 Punts: Leinen 11-400 (36.4).

Boyden-Hull/RV (12-0)
vs. Central Lyon/G-LR    Won 35-7
at Western Christian      Won 34-13
at Unity Christian           Won 56-0
vs. Algona                      Won 58-21
vs. Carroll                      Won 62-6
at Sioux Center             Won 48-16
at Sgt. Bluff-Luton         Won 35-10
vs. MOC-Floyd Valley   Won 41-7
at Bishop Heelan          Won 48-9
vs. Sioux Center          Won 49-7
vs. Sgt. Bluff-Luton     Won 50-14
vs. Solon                     Won 42-0 (at UNI-Dome)
B-H/RV Individual Stat Leaders
 Passing: Tanner Te Slaa 115/172 (66.9%), 2264, 32 TDs, 4 INTs.
 Rushing: Landyn Van Kekerix 59-649 (11.0), 17 TDs; Lane Schmidt 67-376 (5.6), 5 TDs; Bryson Van Grootheest 51-261 (5.1), 1 TD; Cade Fisher 56-202 (3.6), 8 TDs.
 Receiving: Van Kekerix 29-715 (24.7), 14 TDs; Caleb Kats 37-633 (17.1), 9 TDs; Sam Remmerde 18-372 (20.7), 5 TDs; Vance Katzfey 22-361 (16.4), 2 TDs; Van Grootheest 9-196 (21.8), 2 TDs.
 Tackles: Van Kekerix 65.5 (39s), Casey Pick 47.5 (26s), Jaxon Rozeboom 38.5 (19s), Chase Sassman 31.0 (19s), C. Fisher 29.0 (15s), Kats 21.5 (16s), Brock Fisher 21.5 (9s), Katzfey 21.5 (14s), Van Grootheest 21.0 (8s).
 Tackles for loss: Rozeboom 16.0, Pick 15.5, Van Kekerix 11.5, C. Fisher 10.5, Sassman 6.5.
 QB Sacks: Rozeboom 3.5, Pick 3.0, Zach Strubbe 3.0, Van Kekerix 3.0.
 Fumble recoveries 18: Rozeboom 3, Schmidt 2-66 (2 TDs), Te Slaa 2, C. Fisher 2.
 Interceptions 14: Katzfey 4, C. Fisher 2-73 (2 TDs), Kats 2-58, Sassman 2, Dawson Van Beek 1-52 (TD).
 Kickoff Returns: Van Grootheest 8-256 (32.0), 1 TD; Van Kekerix 4-187 (46.8), 2 TDs.
 Punt Returns: Rozeboom 11-120 (10.9), Kats 12-80 (6.7), Katzfey 3-66 (22.0).
 Kickoffs: Angel Rodriguez 70-2806 (40.1), 4 touchbacks; Gael Enciso 13-490 (37.7).
 PATs: Enciso 62/69; Rodriguez 6/7.
 Punts: Te Slaa 23-763 (33.2).

Read this story and the entire paper for only $1 online

Search back issues, email stories, flip through pages and skim headlines just as you would with a newspaper in your hands.
Create an account and buy a paper anytime you want for only $1 per issue Or buy a year subscription for $39.95



Comment Here