It was a pretty entertaining first half of football between Albia and Sigourney-Keota even if the Savage-Cobras were leading 49-27 at the half. It seemed as though neither defense could stop the other.
Except that one defense did stop the other in the second half and it wasn’t Albia’s. Sigourney-Keota (3-0) scored 26-unanswered points in the final half (mostly on the same cutback play) to defeat the Blue Demons 75-27. It was the most points given up by an Albia team since the late 1970’s when Albia faced Class 3A juggernaut Fairfield.
“You know what,” said Co-Head Coach Justin Huber. “Overall we were happy with our effort. Yes, the score got away from of us, but we did a lot of things right. Right now we need to learn how to finish.”
Spinback JD Stout and tailback Sam Sieren ran the Blue Demons off the field, with cut back runs for touchdowns that went for one, 54, 45, three, 15, 46 and 50. Molyneux passed to Stout for a five-yard score, scored on a two-yard run and Colton Clarahan ran for a 22-yard score.
S-K racked up 586 yards of rushing and 52 yards of passing for 638 total yards.
“Our guys were so focused on stopping the initial run, we missed the cutback,” said Coach Huber.
Albia had by far its best offensive night, gaining 248 yards in the air with Blake Chance completing 15 of 29 passes with an interception and rushing for 42 yards with Luke Bossard picking up 33 yards on eight carries.
Defensively, the Blue Demons could not stop the ancient single-wing Sigourney-Keota running game with its cut back runs.
Even more frustrating was the fact that each time Albia scored, the Savage-Cobras came back with long touchdown runs. In the second half, S-K figured out how to keep Chance and his bevy of receivers out of the endzone. The Blue Demons didn’t score in the third and fourth quarters.
Lots and lots of offense
Bossard started things out right with a nine-yard run after the opening kickoff, but the drive stalled and Albia punted to the S-K 14. Sieren ran for nine yards on two carries, Stout caught a pass for 12, then Sieren broke off a 46-yard run to the Albia 11. Two plays later, Stout ran for 10 and Sieren scored from a yard out. The kick failed.
The Blue Demons took over at the 43 after a nifty kickoff return by Damon Sovern. Stewart picked up a first down with a 16-yard pass catch, then Chance found Liam Winfield for 23 yards to the 23. Chance went to Nate Wynn for Albia’s first touchdown with 3:23 left in the quarter. David Fisher’s kick was good and Albia led 7-6.
Sigourney-Keota brought he ball out to the 46 and on the first play from scrimmage, Sieren raced 54 yards for the score. Stout added the two-pointer and the lead had switched 14-7 in the favor of SK.
The Blue Demons benefited from a pass interference penalty and got to the S-K 35, but Chance threw four straight incompletions and the ball turned back to Sigourney. They needed nine plays to move 65 yards for their third score with slotback Brady Duwa running it in from the five. The kick was blocked and Albia trailed 20-7 with 9:04 left in the second quarter.
Blake Stewart got Albia’s next drive to ignite with a 25-yard pass reception to the S-K 48, but the drive fizzled and Wynn got off a booming 50-yard punt to the S-K two. Stout took the ball on the first run from scrimmage, fumbled it and Wynn picked it up running eight yards for the score. After Fisher’s kick, Albia trailed by a single score, 20-14.
S-K brought the ball out to the 45 on the kickoff and on the first run from scrimmage Stout got past the line, cut left and ran untouched 55 yards for the score. The run was good and Albia trailed 28-14.
This is when the game was really fun to watch. Albia started at the 23, Chance threw to Wynn for nine, Bossard picked up two and then Bossard caught a pass along Albia’s sideline and blasted 66 yards for the score. The kick was blocked but Albia was in the hunt, trailing 28-20 with 5:25 left.
It was danged déjà vu all over again as Duwa broke out on the second play from scrimmage, running 60 yards to the Abia five. The next play Sieren ran across for the score to make it 35-30.
Sovern gave Albia great field position again at the 45, but Chance made one of his few throwing errors of the night and was picked off by Sieren, who ran it 50 yards for a touchdown. And just like that, Sigourney-Keota led 42-20.
But just like that, Albia benefited from a 15-yard pass interference call, and Chance hit Stewart for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Fisher’s kick was good and with 4:06 still left in the first half, Albia had cut the lead to 42-27.
Unfortunately, Albia had no answer for the singlewing. Stout ran for seven, Duwa for seven, Sieren for seven and Stout for 16 and another score to make it 49-27 with 1:57 left in the half.
Chance brought the Albia offense back onto the field, scrambled for 12 and a first down at the 48, threw to Wynn for three yards past mid-field, hit Stewart for 15 and four to the 34, but ran out of time.
Second half struggles
The Savage-Cobras got the ball at the 45 to begin the third quarter and Stout immediately ran the same play he’d been scoring on all night, 46 yards for a touchdown. 55-27, S-K.
Albia went three and out and Wynn punted to the 37. Sieren ran for nine and 15, Stout had a 40-yard touchdown called back on a holding call, took the same play along the same path the next play and scored with 10:10 left in the third.
Albia ran three plays and Wynn boomed another 50-yard punt. And for the first time all night, Albia forced the Savage-Cobras to punt. The ball rolled dead at the seven with 44 seconds left in the quarter and the Blue Demons fumbled with S-K recovering at the five. Two plays later, Molyneux scored.
The Blue Demons kept firing. Chance went to Jackson Pence on a deep route, Pence snared the ball on a diving catch, but had pushed off the defender and the ball came back. Albia punted and S-K ran out the clock, scoring their 75th points on a 22-yard run by Colton Clarahan.
Stewart had a career night as a receiver for Albia, catching six passes for 114 yards. Bossard had two catches for 70, Wynn 3 for 33, Winfield one for 22, Pence one for nine and Nathan Parks one for four.
Bossard led the defense with 10 tackles, Wynn had eight, Payton Rubel five, Stewart four, Chaz Fee, Trey Sample, David Fisher, Pence, Winfield and Arron Lowe three each.