Undefeated and second ranked Grinnell was too much for the Clear Lake Lions Monday night in the UNI-Dome. The Tigers advanced to the Second Round of the State Playoffs with a 33-10 victory.
Grinnell (11-0) will face South Tama in Friday’s quarterfinal round. South Tama defeated Humboldt Monday, 21-12. South Tama is one of three teams to finish with a 4-2 record in Class 3A District 4; Grinnell won the district with a 6-0 mark.
The Lions closed the season with an 8-3 mark.
Grinnell’s quarterback, Eli Dunne, came into the game highly touted. His performance lived up to the hype, as he moved his team down the field on their opening possession. The Tigers needed just five plays to move 80-yards and score in 1:37. The drive was highlighted by a 60-yard pass completion.
But the Lions were undaunted. They responded with a steady drive which started at their own 24. Sixteen plays and 81-yards later Chandler Diercks scored and a Logan Kracht extra point kick knotted the score at 7-7.
Grinnell kept the pressure on with another successful drive on their next possession. Another 40-yard play resulted in a Tiger touchdown and a 14-7 advantage.
Gavin Sheakley, a standout throughout the game for the Lions, returned the Tiger kickoff 53 yards to give the Lions good field position on their second possession. Clear Lake quarterback Brock Adams used a 39-yard pass to Sheakley to put the Lions at the Tiger 15. The drive stalled inside the five and on fourth and three at the four-yard line Coach Fred Wieck opted to have Kracht attempt a field goal. The kick was good and the Lions trailed by four, 14-10.
Dunne again used his arm to direct his team to another score. A drive which began at the 39 was punctuated by a 28-yard TD pass. The extra point kick put the score at 21-10. The Tigers recovered a Lion fumble which gave them the ball at the Clear Lake 25, but Clear Lake’s defense held their opponent out of the endzone. The Tigers settled for a 24-yard field goal with :17 seconds to give the Tigers a 24-10 halftime lead.
Dunne and the Tigers recorded 256 yards passing in the first half, compared to 76 for the Lions.
The second half was much more of a defensive struggle. Grinnell held the Lions on their first possession and the Lions kept the Tigers out of the endzone, but gave up three-points on another field goal, making the score 27-10. There were more impressive defensive stands in the second half and good play from special teams. In the third quarter, a Kracht punt was downed on the four-yard line in hopes of pinning Grinnell deep and getting the ball back.
Again, Dunne connected on a big touchdown pass, this time for 43 yards and the Tigers were rolling, 33-10. The extra point kick was blocked.
Dunne finished with 328 passing in Grinnell’s 405 yards of offense.
The Lions had 221 yards, with 130 of those coming on the ground and 91 through he air. Maulsby was the rushing leader for the Lions with 90 yards on 15 carries.
CL 35, Boone 0
The Lions opened the playoffs with a convincing 35-0 victory over Boone (7-3).
Clear Lake was in control from the start, scoring on their opening drive and jumping to a 14-0 lead by the halfway mark of the first quarter.
Clear Lake junior running back Chase Lester rushed 21 times for 129 yards and two scores. Chandler Diercks also scored twice, on runs of 24 and 10-yards. The Lions amassed 306-yards on the ground. Brice Wilcke was the third Lion to score. He had a two-yard run just before the half that gave his team a 27-0 halftime lead.
The Lion defense rose to the challenge of shutting down District 4 standout Jonny Mack. Mack entered the game with 1,450 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, but Wednesday he was held to just 43 yards on eight carries.
Quarterback Brock Adams was 4/5 passing for 93 yards in the game. Lester caught two passes for 41 yards. Alex Webb had one reception for 32 and Cody Maulsby had one for