Cyclones' massive comeback falls short in 41-39 loss
CEDAR FALLS - Down 35-0 at one point in the first half, the Cyclones stormed back in the second half to almost pull off the upset of the season, losing 41-39 in the Class 3A semifinals at the UNI-Dome. With 59 seconds left the Cyclones went for two points but a bobbled snap and a Pella defensive rush ended the Cyclones dream as Deren Schmitz's pass - as he was going to the ground - was incomplete to Brett Sears at the 2-yard line. The Cyclones, who had beaten Pella in their three previous playoff matchups, finally lost the battle with the three-time defending state champs.
Brett Sears ended the night with five touchdown catches and Jon Owens garnered the sixth on a blocked punt return to cap the HCHS scoring.
The game featured a pick-six, two one-play drives, a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, a hook-and-ladder, a failed reverse pass and multiple two-point tries down the stretch.
The Dutch have now won 10 straight games and will get the opportunity to become the first 3A program to win four consecutive state titles when they play Cedar Rapids Xavier (12-0) next week.
Pella (11-1)...........14 21 0 6—41
Harlan (10-2).........0 7 13 19—39
P: Lucas Warner 34 pass from Ryan Gustafson (Kaden Miedema kick)
P: Sam Warner 9 run (Miedema kick)
P: S. Warner 34 interception return (PAT failed)
P: L. Warner 16 pass from Gustafson (Miedema kick)
H: Brett Sears 7 pass from Deren Schmitz (Kyle Knudson kick)
H: Sears 8 pass from Schmitz (Knudson kick)
H: Sears 4 pass from Schmitz (PAT blocked)
H: Jonathan Owens 26 blocked punt return (pass failed)
P: Avery Van Zee 53 pass from Gustafson (PAT failed)
H: Sears 17 pass from Schmitz (Knudson kick)
H: Sears 7 pass from Schmitz (pass failed)
Rushing - HCHS: Foss 21-77, Schmitz 7-45, Bieker 2-4, Monson 2-(-15); Pella leaders: Schnell 9-84, Van Zee 8-43.
Passing - HCHS: Schmitz 25-49-2, 358; Foss 0-1-0, 0. Pella: Gustafson 10-17-0, 180.
Receiving - HCHS: Foss 6-183, Sears 7-80, Monson 4-43, Campbell 3-31, Weyer 2-9, Boldan 1-7, A. Schechinger 2-5.
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