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Late Rally Lifts Falcons To 1A State Championship

November 20, 2020 3:46pm

In a game in which they led for only 71 seconds it took the OA-BCIG football team just 85 seconds to score 15 points in the final three minutes of the game lifting them to a thrilling 33-26 victory over Van Meter in the Class 1A championship game played Friday at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.

Trailing 26-18 with 2:36 to go in the game the Falcons started a game tying drive at their own 45 yard line, it would take them just 1:06 and four plays to score as Cooper DeJean ran in a four yard touchdown and then he ran in the two point conversion to tie the game at 26-26.  On the ensuing kickoff, Zach Hemer forced a fumble on the return and the Falcons Beckett DeJean recovered the ball at the Bulldogs 19-yard line. On the very next play DeJean delivered a magical run weaving his way into the endzone for the go ahead score and OA-BCIG's defense would then get their biggest stop of the game to preserve the win in the final minute.

The game was tied 6-6 after the first quarter, Van Meter held a 13-6 lead at halftime and would then take a 20-18 advantage into the 4th quarter.

It was Van Meter's running game that kept them ahead for most of the game as they racked up 343 yards rushing led by Dalten Van Pelt who carried the ball 39 times for 232 yards and two scores. His second touchdown run of the game was a ten yarder that put the Bulldogs in front 26-18 with less then five minutes to play but all of that just foreshadowed DeJean's late game heroics.

DeJean finished with 73 yards rushing and completed 14-of-27 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns all to Easton Harms.  Harms had eight catches for 160 yards with TD grabs of 37, 11, and 8 giving the senior 16 touchdown catches on the year.  Griffin Diersen had three receptions for 108 yards. DeJean finished the season with 35 TD passes and another 24 rushing.

Van Meter had 397 yards of offense on 71 plays and held the ball for almost 34 minutes of the game.  The Falcons finished with 409 yards of offense.  

Geo Ehrig led the Falcons defense with 12 and a half tackles, Zach Hemer had nine, Ethan Shever had eight, Josh Peters had a big interception.

It's the second straight year that Van Meter lost in the 1A championship as they finish the year at 11-1.

It's the 25th win in a row for OA-BCIG adding this year's 1A title to the 2A championship that they won in 2019.

After the game Storm Lake Radio spoke with Falcons head coach Larry Allen.