|11/13/2017 10:19:00 AM|
Black Hawk is last game of the season for Iowa-Grant
Every once in a while a team comes along that has it all.
Iowa-Grant ran into that type of team last Friday in their WIAA Division 7 Level 2 battle at number one seed Black Hawk.
The Warriors showed why they are that special team with an 11 touchdown outburst and a 68-15 win.
There was plenty of blocking and tackling in the game by both teams but the Warriors were bigger and faster. They showed it with Brody Milz who scored on runs of 56, four and four yards along with a 32 yard pass from Michael Flanagan, Colby Argall who raced in twice from the 11 and once each from the five and one, a 24 yard scamper by junior Jaylen Reufenacht and a blocked punt by 6-0, 254 sophomore defensive tackle Avery Baumgartener.
Argall scored twice in the first quarter after Milz opened the game with his big play, the 56 yard blast at 9:47 to lead the Warriors to 24 first quarter points.
The Panthers scored in the first with 2:57 left on the only opening the Warriors gave them as Ross Havlik collaborated with Michael Winders for a 25 yard six pointer. Jackson Vigen added the extra point.
Three seconds into the second quarter Argall scored again. Three minutes later the Warriors blocked a punt deep in Panther territory. The ball eventually bounced off a helmet and settled into Baumgartner's hands in the end zone. That made it 38-7.
Milz scored twice more in the second frame and Argall once to send the Warriors to a 56-7 halftime lead.
With the clock running, Argall punched in a third quarter score and Reufenacht got his six pointer in the fourth.
Panther workhorse and the SWAL Back of the Year, Brady Peat, capped his career with a touchdown at 8:34 in the fourth. The senior grabbed a seven yard pass from Winders for the score.
The Panthers found it hard running against the Warriors defense and picked up 86 hard fought yards on 36 carries. Peat split the ball carrying assignments with Clayton Kite with his 44 yards on 23 tries to Kite's 45 in seven.
Havlik hit Michael Winders with his two conversions for 32 yards. He had 14 tries and was intercepted three times.
Milz led Black Hawk with 133 yards on 11 carries and Argall added 116 on 14 tries.
Flanagan completed two of three pass attempts for 42 yards. The Warriors had 400 total yards for the game, 358 on the ground.
Panther coach Gary Allen came away from the game with plenty of respect for how the Warriors play football.
"Although they were bigger than we were the major problem was how hard they played," Allen said. "They blocked, tackled, and ran the ball with tremendous intensity. They played extremely hard."
The Warriors also made it rough for Peat with their defensive plan which was not new to the Panthers.
"Most teams focus their defense on Brady with good reason," Allen said. "They played with all 11 players within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage and they swarmed Brady on every play. We were able to get receivers open and Kite had a couple nice runs but it wasn't nearly enough".
"Black Hawk is an excellent team and although we gave it our all they were the better team," Allen said.
While the season for the Panthers had its ups and downs (that happens in the tough SWAL) it ended successfully with a stunning last game of the conference season win over previously unbeaten Cuba City and a post season run to Level 2.
"Any credit for the our success this season should go to our captains, Brady Peat, Clint Havlik, and Clayton Kite," Allen said. "They were great leaders in good times and bad. When we lost three games in a row and needed to beat Cuba City those three were the driving force. Our team came through because our captains helped them believe they could."
"We had high hopes for 2017 and although we didn't win as many games as we wanted I think our kids should be very proud of how we stuck together and played for each other," added Allen. "Beating Cuba City and winning a playoff game was a sign of our ability. We hope the experience our younger kids got this year will serve us well next year."
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