EDDYVILLE — Cory Archer finished off a fourth-quarter hat trick, so to speak, by closing out the playoff chase for Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont in an incredible way. Archer caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Dillon Pigsley with 27 seconds left, giving the Rocket senior his third straight touchdown of the period as EBF rallied from a 14-0 fourth-quarter deficit to secure third place in Class 1A, District 6 with an 18-14 victory at raucous Ike Ryan Field.
West Branch led most of the way in a defensive struggle with the Rocket. The Bears doubled a 7-0 lead on a 40-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter before Archer sparked EBF’s comeback with consecutive touchdown runs from 71 and 26 yards out.
After a missed extra point on the first Archer score, EBF was forced to go for two to tie the game after the second touchdown. That conversion failed, leaving the Rockets behind 14-12 in the dying seconds before Pigsley found Archer for what would be the second straight game-winning last-minute touchdown at home.
“It was an incredible effort by the kids,” an awe-struck Rockets head coach Eric Kellar said after a third consecutive must-win victory by his team. “I didn’t think I could get any more excited after last week, and then we pull this off. The kids just never gave up.”
After beating Wapello two weeks ago on Jeren Glosser fumble recovery in the end zone with seven seconds left and a 24-0 shutout win at Sigourney-Keota, EBF (6-2, 4-2) will now head into next week’s final home game of the regular season knowing that its postseason fate is sealed. The Rockets will be the third seed in 1A, District 6, trailing only undefeated three-time state champion Iowa City Regina and seventh-ranked Wilton.
While the Rockets don’t know who or where they will be playing a week from this Wednesday, next Friday EBF will host undefeated 2A, District 6 champ Albia. The fourth-ranked Blue Demons also secured at least two home playoff games after shutting out Interstate 35, 62-0, Friday in Monroe County.
“We’re pumped up. We’re just waiting to see where we are going to go,” Keller said. “We’re just focused on film for Albia, but we are definitely looking forward to the playoffs.”
“It’s been pretty exciting.”
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 18, West Branch 14
WB 0 7 0 7 — 14
EBF 0 0 0 18 — 18
Scoring By Quarters
WB — blocked punt for touchdown (kick good)
WB — 40 touchdown pass to #27 (kick good)
EBF — Cory Archer 71 yard run (kick failed)
EBF — Archer 26 yard run (conversion failed)
EBF — Archer 40 yard pass from Pigsley (conversion failed)
First downs 12
Passing yards 142
Total Yards 359
RUSHING — Cory Archer 7-111 yards, 2 TD.
PASSING — Pigsley 7-10, 142 yards.
RECEIVING — Blake Marolf 3-62 yards, Archer 2-51 yards, Ty Jager 1-28 yards
INTERCEPTIONS — Marolf, Cody Brown.
TACKLES — Jeren Glosser 10, Hunter Johnston 9, Jager 7.
Indians fall to third-ranked Pella in 3A, District 8 title game
OSKALOOSA — Riding a five-game winning streak into a showdown for the Class 3A, District 8 title, Oskaloosa had plenty of momentum as the Indians attempted to knock off No. 3 Pella at Lacey Recreational Sports Complex.
The Little Dutch, however, had Noah Clayberg. The sophomore quarterback ran for four touchdowns, including three in the first quarter alone, and found Ben Konfrst on a 23-yard scoring pass as third-ranked Pella methodically opened a 35-point lead on the way to clinching the district crown over the Indians, 35-7, on Friday.
Andrew Landgrebe, the top rusher in 3A, gained 122 hard-earned yards against Pella’s stout, physical defense. Nate VanVeldhuizen kept the Indians from being shut out with a four-yard touchdown run to end the scoring in the fourth quarter while Nick Rutledge completed Oskaloosa’s only pass on offense to go along with a team-high 10 tackles and an interception on defense.
Oskaloosa (5-3, 4-1) will settle for second place in the district, giving the Indians a home playoff game against the third-place team in 3A, District 7 which will either be Centerville or Fairfield. Before that contest a week from Wednesday, the Indians will wrap up district and regular season play next Friday at Knoxville.
No. 3 (3A) Pella 35, Oskaloosa 7
Pella 21 0 14 0 — 35
Osky 0 0 0 7 — 7
Scoring By Quarters
P — Noah Clayberg 10 yard run (Seth Johnson kick)
P — Clayberg 13 yard run (Johnson kick)
P — Clayberg 11 yard run (Johnson kick)
P — Clayberg 23 yard pass to Ben Konfrst (Johnson kick)
P — Clayberg 8 yard run (Johnson kick)
O — Nate VanVeldhuizen 4 yard run (Nick Waters kick)
First downs 15 14
Rushes-yards 30-205 52-168
Passing yards 63 9
Total Yards 268 177
Comp-Att-Int 6-10-2 1-5-2
Return Yards 78 92
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yds 8-88 7-45
RUSHING — Andrew Landgrebe 31-122 yards, Nate VanVeldhuizen 10-31 yards.
PASSING — Nick Rutledge 1-1, 9 yards, Jesse Van Dalen 0-4, 0 yards.
RECEIVING — Mason Wisse 1-9 yards
INTERCEPTIONS — Rutledge 2.
TACKLES — Rutledge 10, Wisse 8, Riley Conigilo 7.