Lions fall to Cadets in District opener

(Above) PJ Feuerbach scored Clear Lake’s first touchdown of the game after he connected on a 78-yard pass from quarterback, Carson Toebe.   Tyres Green scored Clear Lake’s final TD on a 33-yard pass from Toebe. -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

by Marianne Gasaway

A fourth quarter drive pulled the Lions to within two points, but they couldn’t get past Iowa Falls-Alden in the Class 2A, District 3 opener Friday night.  The Cadets held on to win, 16-14.

It was the second straight loss for the Lions in the closing minutes of a game.  A last second scoring attempt against Iowa City Regina fell short a week earlier.  The Lions are now 1-2 overall.

“We’ve got to work on getting tougher mentally and physically.  We’ve got to learn how to finish,” said Coach Jared DeVries.

The Lion defense was impressive against a steady Cadet offense led by running back Karson Sharar.  The senior was the workhorse for IF-A.  He provided 131 of the Cadets’ 180 rushing yards on 35 carries.  On the night, the Cadets finished with 322 yards of total offense, while the Lions had 257, most of which were through the air.

Quarterback Carson Toebe was 11/23 for 214 yards and two touchdowns.   The Lions were held to just 43-yards on the ground on 24 attempts.  Toebe was the leading rusher with 34-yards on 16 carries.

After Clear Lake’s opening drive stalled on the Cadet 19, Sharar led his team to the Lion eight-yard line.  A blocked field goal kept the game scoreless.

The stop sparked the Lion offense and they put the first points on the board.  Toebe connected with PJ Feuerbach on a 78-yard touchdown pass.  Eric Ritter put the PAT through the uprights for a 7-0 Clear Lake lead in the final minutes of the opening quarter.

Sharar evened the score midway through the second quarter.  His 10-yard run capped a seven play, 47-yard drive.

The game was knotted at 7-7 at halftime.

A 21-yard field goal gave the Cadets a 10-7 advantage with 1:49 left in the third.  They padded the lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter with a 27-yard touchdown pass.  A missed PAT made the score 16-7.

A seven-play, 57-yard drive and PAT had the Lions within striking distance at 16-14 with just over eight-minutes to play.  Tyres Green scored on a 33-yard pass from Toebe.  He finished the night with six receptions for 86-yards.

A huge stop by the Lion defense on IF-A’s next possession had Clear Lake in the driver’s seat down the final stretch.  Austin Warnke took the punt  from the 42 to the Lion 35, but a personal foul moved the ball back to the 48.

The Lions pounded the ball back to the 35, but another penalty set the team back again and they ultimately turned the ball over on downs at the Cadet 45.  Six straight handoffs to Sharar took valuable minutes off the clock, leaving the Lions with only 33-seconds to strike. Two failed pass attempts and a sack sealed their fate.

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