Little Hawks Take Down North Scott

City High defeated North Scott 40-14 on Friday to advance to the quarter finals of the IHSAA football playoffs.

Jonathan House

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

After struggling in the first quarter of their last few games, the Little Hawks jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a punt return touchdown by Zach Jones ’18, and extended it to a 12-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and didn’t look back.

“I think that it got us off to a great start, and we needed that and we talked to them and said ‘hey, this team is gonna grind at you if you give them the opportunity’ and we didn’t give them the opportunity to get that going,” City High head coach Dan Sabers said of his team’s fast start.

After a big run by Bryce Frantz ’17 on a short yardage play in which Frantz was able to get to the second level, Nate Wieland ’17 was able to punch it in on a QB keeper on third and goal to give the Little Hawks an 18-0 lead late in the first half. North Scott, however, was able to fight back and scored its first points of the night on a 37-yard catch and run by Nathan Wilkerson ’17. City quickly punted the ball back to the Lancers, who were able to score another touchdown to make it 18-14 right before the half.

With their lead cut from eighteen to four points in a few minutes, the Little Hawks got the ball back with 24 seconds left in the first half. Nate Wieland found Gabe Nkumu ’17 in the end zone on a 38 yard Hail Mary to end the half. Vance Dillon ’17 caught the two-point conversion pass in the corner to give the Little Hawks some momentum back and to give them a 26-14 half time lead.

“It felt really good to be able to make a big play for the team,” Nkumu said of his Hail Mary catch. “I turned around and saw the ball coming my way and I knew I could out jump all of those guys so I was confident I could make the play.”

For the second half, City High looked to throw the ball more and move away from the run. Both offenses couldn’t find their groove to start the second half. City finally put up the first points of the second half with 47 seconds to go in the third quarter when Wieland found Zach Jones on a fade route for the touchdown. Miles Morrow ’18 added the PAT to give City a 33-14 lead.

In the fourth quarter, City went back to power football and was able to grind out another touchdown drive and take time off the clock. Bryce Frantz capped off the drive by finding a hole into the end zone to make it 40-14. City was able to put in the backups and bleed out the remainder of the clock.

“It feels great. We did the same thing last year [making it to the final eight],” Linebacker Brock Hunger ’17 said. “We have the talent to make a run for it as long as we focus on ourselves and fix our mistakes.”

The Little Hawks believe that this win can be a big boost as they look to improve before taking on Cedar Rapids Washington at Kingston Stadium next Friday.

“At this time of the season, every win increases the excitement. Everybody’s excited about winning a playoff game and moving on,” Sabers said. “All that is just a boost to everybody and I think that should motivate everyone to work harder than they’ve ever worked.”