Spirit Lake advances to Class 2A Championship
Spirit Lake advanced to the Class 2A Football Championship Game on Saturday by defeating North Fayette Valley 49-34 at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The Indians struck first when Logan Backhaus connected with Billy Brown for a 44 yard touchdown pass with 10:16 to go in the first quarter. Spirit Lake led 7-0 after the extra point. The Tigerhawks responded immediately. On their first offensive play, Jesse Mackey scampered 65 yards to put North Fayette Valley on the board. The extra point was missed however to keep the lead at 7-6 for Spirit Lake. The two teams traded punts on their next possessions. With 4:31 left in the first, Brown again scored for the Indians. This time he caught a 12 yard pass from Backhaus to extend the lead to 14-6 after the extra point by Nick Dusold. The Tigerhawks answered againn. Trey Kuhens broke loose for a 54 yard touchdown run with 1:33 to go in the first quarter. Kedrick Bemiss found the end zone on the two point conversion and the score was tied at 14. The Indians would drive to the NFV 39 yard line on their next possession, but saw the drive stall on fourth down. The Tigerhawks had a chance to take the lead for the first time on the ensuing drive but had to punt after a sack and two penalties for a loss. Spirit Lake wasted no time on the next drive, taking just four plays, 1:10, and driving 63 yards. Dallas Poock scored this time, via a 31 yard touchdown catch. The Indians led 21-14 after the extra point. NFV once again answered. Trevor Hurd ran it in from five yards out to cap a 13 play, 53 yard drive. Once again the Tigerhawks would miss the extra point to keep Spirit Lake in front 21-20. After a long passing play to Poock, Spirit Lake would extend their lead to eight at halftime, thanks to a three yard touchdown run by Backhaus.
Justin Jones recovered a fumble on the kickoff to the second half, giving Spirit Lake great field position at the NFV 26 yard line. Five plays later, Poock caught a six yard touchdown pass and the lead extended to 35-20 after the extra point. After NFV turned the ball over on downs, Backhaus ran it in from 43 yards out and the lead stretched to 42-20 after the extra point. The Tigerhawks did not go away though as Bemiss found pay dirt from 35 yards out with 5:33 to go in the third quarter. A two point conversion failed but the lead was cut to 42-26. NFV got Spirit Lake to punt on the next drive and then scored after a 99 yard, 16 play drive that lasted 6:57. Andrew Roys caught the 12 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 42-34 after a successful two point conversion. The lead did not stay at eight for long though as Backhaus ran it in from 19 yards out with 7:54 to go in the game. Spirit Lake led 49-34. The Indians held on the rest of the way to secure the victory and advance to the championship game.
Backhaus had 13 carries for 139 yards and three rushing touchdowns. He was 13-for-19 passing for 239 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Brown had nine receptions for 148 yards and two touchdown receptions along with an interception on defense. Poock has two catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Spirit Lake is 13-0. They will face Mount Vernon on Friday at 2pm for the Class 2A title. Hear the game on KUOO. Kuhens had 24 carries for 140 yards for the Tigerhawks. Mackey had 15 carries for 103 yards. NFV’s season ends at 10-3.
For post-game audio of Coach Josh Bolluyt click here