Little Hawks Take Down Muscatine

City High defeated Muscatine on homecoming at Bates Field to improve to 3-0 in the district.

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

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The Little Hawks got off to a slow start, something that head coach Dan Sabers admitted he was nervous about at halftime. It didn’t, however, prevent the Little Hawks from securing a 36-28 victory.

“We were down in that first half, everybody was a little down, but coming out with a W and seeing all these people out here on our field, it’s unbelievable,” running back Bryce Frantz ’17 said after the game.

The Little Hawks trailed 14-6 early in the second quarter after some big plays by the Muscatine offense and a failed PAT by the Little Hawks. The Little Hawks went into the locker room trailing after a back and forth second quarter. Then the fireworks started. Vance Dillon ’17 took the kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown to start the third quarter.

“The kick return was huge. We started getting fired up towards the end of the half, and coming out and making that kind of play was a big spark,” Sabers said of Dillon’s return and how it gave the Little Hawks the momentum back.

Following a stop by City’s defense, the Little Hawks were able to get the ball back. They found Zach Jones ’18 for the touchdown. However, Muscatine was able to reclaim the lead after Alphonso Soko ’17 returned a punt for a touchdown. That gave the Muskies a 21-20 lead late in the third quarter.

With 6:59 to play, the Little Hawks mostly kept the ball on the ground and were able to respond with a Bryce Frantz touchdown run. Frantz added the 2-point conversion to put the Little Hawks up 28-21.

On Muscatine’s next drive, Zach Jones ’18 picked off the pass and scampered down the sidelines for the pick-six.

“It felt great. It felt like one of the best plays in my career so far,” Jones said.

After the Little Hawks took a 36-21 lead after another 2-point conversion, it looked like they could cruise to victory. However, after a nice drive by the Muskies that ended in Drew Greenhaw ’17 making a highlight reel catch in the corner of the endzone, they still trailed by eight. The ensuing onside kick got a nice bounce and was recovered by Muscatine. City’s defense stepped up when it had to. Jourdain Buckland ’17 had a tackle for loss followed by a sack to bring up third and long for Muscatine. After getting a few yards back, City High’s Naeem Smith ’17 picked it off on fourth down to secure the win for the Little Hawks.

“That’s a talented offense, but defensively, after the first couple series, we got back to our other stuff and it worked better,” Sabers said of his defense’s play.

The Little Hawks are now 6-1 overall and play for the district title at home against Bettendorf.