SK Title Hope Ends Against OABCIG

by Justin Burtis

Cedar Falls — A matchup of undefeated teams took place Saturday at the UNI Dome in the 1A semifinal. The Falcons of OABCIG entered with the longest winning streak in the state at 23 games, including the 2A State Championship last year. Meanwhile, the Cobras were back in the Dome having won a title in 2005, as they also carried a perfect 10-0 record with them into the matchup. Despite a competitive first half, the Falcon passing attack was too much for the Cobras to handle and their state title dreams ended as they took a 43-21 loss.

The matchup featured two very different offenses, as the Cobras entered as one of the most proficient rushing attacks in the State, led by Sam Sieren. He entered with the most rushing TDs in the state and the fourth most rush yards in 1A. Opposite him was Cooper Dejean, an Iowa commit who led 1A in all passing categories. Both defenses had some hard work to do in this game and with the respective fans set and ready in the Dome, the Cobras got the opening kickoff and started at their own 20.

It was a heavy dose of Sieren early, as the senior picked up a first down after three straight rushes. A bad snap set the Cobras behind the chains and Brady Duwa had to punt it away. That got the ball into the hands of the Falcon offense and Dejean, who quickly threw and rushed for first downs on two straight plays. Entering the RedZone on the long drive, the Cobras held Dejean up on a run to make it third and goal from the two. In a helter-skelter play, Dejean felt the pressure as he dropped back to pass, as he was forced to retreat to the SK 24. He then escaped the rush and scampered all the way back to the one yard-line. Facing fourth and goal, the Falcons kept it in his hands and he followed the right guard into the endzone and OABCIG took a 7-0 lead. The drive took 11 plays as the Falcons went 80 yards in a little over four minutes.

The ensuing SK possession took the game into the second quarter and was much better for the Cobras, as the option attack started to pay dividends. Cade Molyneux, Duwa, and Sieren exchanged carries as the Cobras marched into the Falcon end. Sieren took a carry left to make it fourth and short inside the OABCIG 15. He drove straight up the middle to pick up the first down and set up first and goal. The next play, a great block opened a gap on the left side and Sieren ran it in from nine yards out as SK tied the game. The 73 yard drive took 5:38 in 12 plays.

The Falcons answered two plays later. After a fake reverse on the kickoff allowed OABCIG to start in the SK half of the field, Dejean nailed Easton Harms for a 36-yard, back-shoulder, touchdown catch. A missed PAT made it 13-7. The Falcons got the ball back quickly as Molyneux was picked off trying to air it out down the middle of the field to Duwa on the next drive for SK.

After a quick wide receiver screen, the Falcons were in business inside the SK 15-yard line. After an incompletion, an 11-yard slant to Harms, who made the pick, put six more on the board for OABCIG, his second TD catch of the day. Another missed PAT made it 20-7 with about seven minutes to go in the half. The Cobras had rarely trailed all season and for the first time all year, found themselves down two scores.

The offense responded with a long drive similar to the ones they used to eat the clock against Beckman Catholic a couple weeks ago. Marching with the rushing trio, the team got to the nine with 2:20 to go. It took two plays from there for Molyneux to pound home a score as SK made the 76 yards in 10 plays and 4:41.

Dejean is hard to stop and he delivered another long pass to Cameron Sharkey who took it all the way to the SK 30-yard line on the first play of the Falcon possession. The Cobras then stood up the Falcon attack as they finally got some pressure on the Falcon slinger. Facing a fourth and five, Dejean rolled right and picked up the first down with his legs with 52 seconds to go. A holding call put the ball back to the SK 38, which energized the defense. Duwa broke up a pass on the next play and Sharkey dropped a sure TD pass the next play. Facing fourth and 28, Dejean flicked one out to his left on a RB screen play and the Cobras could not track Griffin Diersen down, as he took it to the house with 18 seconds to go. It took OABCIG nine plays to go 63 yards at the end of the half. The Falcons went into halftime with a 26-14 lead.

Sieren had 115 rush yards at the break while Molyneux had 42 and Duwa 34. Dejean had 251 pass yards, with Sharkey leading the receivers with 68 yards and Harms netting 60. The game was still in the balance though and the second half saw the Falcons get the ball.

Dejean and company confidently pushed forward on the opening drive but the Cobras would not break in the RedZone, forcing a field goal that the Falcons made to go up 29-14. The Cobras were then stuffed and on the fake punt attempt, Duwa could not escape long enough to make a throw down the field, giving the ball back to the Falcons at the SK 25. However, Dejean then overthrew his target and Wyatt Sieren made the snag to give the Cobras life again.

After narrowly picking up a first down, the Cobras faced fourth and long. Colton Clarahan stepped into the QB role and fired a deep ball but it was into double coverage, and his pass was picked off. The Falcons took over in their own end with three minutes and change left in the third quarter.

Dejean would hit Kolton Knop on a corner fade with 25 seconds to go in the third for a 20-yard strike to make it 36-14. The Cobras entered the fourth with the ball but would not be able to do much else until it was 43-14 OABCIG, as Easton caught a pass on a streak down the sideline for 92 yards to put it away. The Cobras answered with a great drive, capped off by Duwa making a beautiful catch in the endzone to make it 43-21, as SK took it 75 yards in 12 plays. The team never quit during the final quarter despite the score, as they fought on both offense and defense until the final horn sounded.

The Cobras were led by Sieren, who put up 231 yards on 31 rushes and added a score as well. Molyneux had 76 yards on 17 carries and Duwa added 21 yards on 11 attempts. Clarahan had 59 yards passing on the day, with Duwa collecting 13 yards and a TD through the air and Molyneux making up the other 46 yards.

Dejean was 20-33 for 403 yards, 5 TDs, 1 interception, and had a long pass of 92 yards. He also rushed for 73 yards and a TD. Easton Harms had nine catches for 189 yards and three TDs while Sharkey had five for 68 yards and Knop had 3 receptions for 84 yards and a TD.

The Falcons will face Van Meter in the 1A championship game next week while the Cobras will finish 10-1.

Posted by on Nov 14 2020. Filed under News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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