It wasn’t always pretty, but Coach Fred Wieck said his team took care of business and did what it had to do to earn home field advantage in tonight’s first round of the State Playoffs. The Lions topped Algona 27-7 Friday night to end the regular season with a 7-2 overall record, 5-2 in Class 3A District 3.
As runner-up in District 3, Clear Lake will host Boone tonight in the playoffs. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Lions Field. Boone and South Tama shared 7-2, 4-2 records in Class 3A’s District 4; Boone was the third place finisher in the district. Newton also ended the regular season with a 4-2 district record and was 5-4 overall and fourth. Grinnell, rated number two in the final Associated Press Class 3A poll, was the District 4 champion with a 9-0, 6-0 record. Humboldt (5-1, 6-3) was the District 3 winner by virtue of their head-to-head victory over the Lions.
“We’ve got to be better on Wednesday or our season will end. I think we’ll be better,” said Lions Coach Fred Wieck after the game.
Knowing that their post-season berth was sealed, the coach said his team seemed to lack its usual aggressive attitude-- especially in the first half.
“It wasn’t terrible. We played hard and I’m proud of the way we (defense) held their ground,” said Wieck. “In the play-offs at 7-2 is not all bad.”
Algona started the game strong, moving the ball 68 yards on seven plays for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
The Lions responded with their own quick drive. Boosted by a 45-yard pass play from Brock Adams to Jack Abbas, Clear Lake scored five plays later. The 58-yard drive was capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Cody Maulsby. A penalty on Algona during the extra point attempt resulted in the Lions attempting a two-point conversion, however Adams was sacked and the Lions trailed 7-6.
After being stopped at the at the one-yard line early in the second quarter, the Lions got the ball back at the Bulldog’s 35. This time, on fourth and inches at the one, Adams pitched the ball to Chase Lester, who score the go-ahead score. A two-point conversion try was also good by Lester, putting the score at 14-7.
Clear Lake had the ball deep in Algona territory once more before halftime. With four-seconds left a bad snap on a Logan Kracht field goal attempt ended the scoring threat.
The Lions pushed the score to 21-7 in the third quarter. A seven-yard score by Maulsby was set up by a Carson Farmer fumble recovery. Kracht kicked the extra point.
The Bulldogs drove to the Lion 20 midway through the final quarter, but Clear Lake’s defense rose up and stopped the threat on fourth and three. When Clear Lake’s offense was unable to get the ball out of their own territory, Kracht booted a 74 yard punt to pin the Bulldogs deep. Two plays later an intercept by Pete Swenson gave the Lions the ball back at the 20. Maulsby scored again, this time from 27-yards out, for the 27-7 final.
Twenty penalties made the pace and play of the game often frustrating. Both benches were penalized and an Algona player